Huffpost Politics

HUFFPOST HILL - Bob Ross Would Like That Happy Little (George W.) Bush

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Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli says his views on marijuana are "evolving," which means he'll soon support Americans' right to marry ounces of Hindu kush. This weekend the East Coast will be bombarded by ironic snowmen (also snow). And don't be alarmed if George W. Bush grabs you by the shoulder, stares at you in the eye and intones "I must paint you"... that's kind of his thing now. This is HUFFPOST HILL for Friday, February 8th, 2013:

SENATE DEMOCRATS OFFER SEQUESTER COMPROMISE - Sam Stein: "The bill would cut the deficit by $120 billion over 10 years to help replace the roughly 10 months' worth of sequestration. Approximately $55 billion would come from revenue hikes and a slightly larger amount than that would come from spending cuts. The rest would be made up of interest savings. The goal, said one aide, is to introduce the bill by Thursday so that it can be presented to the full caucus, who will be able to discuss it back home in their districts during the congressional recess. That date, however, is 'flexible.'... The revenue raisers would be derived from the implementation of the so-called Buffett rule, which sets a minimum tax threshold on millionaire income. That would raise an estimated $47 billion over 10 years. Revenue would also come from instituting new rules ensuring that IRA accounts remain retirement funds for middle class earners and not defacto tax havens for the wealthy." [HuffPost]

The White House wants to freak you out: "White House officials warned reporters in a Friday briefing of some of the consequences of the sequester, should the $1.2 trillion cuts kick in as expected on March 1. They include the threat of hundreds of thousands of furloughs across federal agencies, the loss of nutritional assistance for approximately 600,000 women and children, fewer food inspections, disruption of federal education programs, and limitations on access to mental health services. Shortly before the briefing, the administration issued a fact sheet laying out the aftermath in more detail. '[The] sequester is a blunt and indiscriminate instrument that poses a serious threat to our national security, domestic priorities and the economy,' Danny Werfel, federal controller of the Office of Management and Budget, said at the top of the briefing." [HuffPost's Sabrina Siddiqui]

STORMS LOVE DEMOCRATS - Unless they're in the vicinity of New Orleans. National Journal: "With a blizzard poised to blanket Massachusetts with over two feet of snow this weekend, some Bay State Republicans are concerned that the storm could jeopardize the ability of state Rep. Dan Winslowand other GOP candidates to qualify for the ballot in the special election to replace Secretary of State John Kerry. Candidates for the special election must submit 10,000 certified signatures by Feb. 27 to qualify for the April 30 primary. With Democratic Gov. Deval Patrick (D) declaring a state of emergency Friday afternoon and banning cars from driving on the roads, Senate contenders are forced to put a hold on signature collecting until the storm passes." [National Journal]

DAILY DELANEY DOWNER - From our ongoing series PASTED: The Email of the Jobless, here's a letter from a single dad: "Have been receiving unemployment for a month now, 83 dollars a week. Can't find medical insurance, housing, welfare application has been denied twice, can't acquire affordable housing. Am interested in doing a 11 week ship building class, just to pursue a career. Food banks are a joke, no medical insurance to get my daughter a shot needed for school. Pay barely covers auto insurance, cell phone, gas." [Hang in there!]

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LAWMAKERS FORM ANOTHER GANG, STILL NOT DANCE SNAPPING DOWN AISLES OF CONGRESS - AP: "A bipartisan quartet of senators, including two National Rifle Association members and two with "F" ratings from the potent firearms lobby, are quietly trying to find a compromise on expanding the requirement for gun-sale background checks. A deal, given a good chance by several participants and lobbyists, could add formidable political momentum to one of the key elements of President Barack Obama's gun control plan...The senators' talks have included discussions about ways to encourage states to make more mental health records available to the national system and the types of transactions that might be exempted from background checks, such as sales among relatives or to those who have permits to carry concealed weapons, said people who spoke anonymously because they were not authorized to describe the negotiations publicly. The private discussions involve liberal Sen. Chuck Schumer of New York, who is the No. 3 Senate Democratic leader; West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin, an NRA member and one of the chamber's more moderate Democrats; Sen. Tom Coburn, R-Okla., another NRA member and one of the more conservative lawmakers in Congress; and moderate GOP Sen. Mark Kirk of Illinois." [AP]

Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli says his views on marijuana are "evolving," so the bakery in the Clarendon Whole Foods will soon get raided faster than a California dispensary by the Feds. Nick Wing: Speaking to a class at the University of Virginia, Cuccinelli reportedly said that he was open to states following the example of marijuana legalization efforts passed by voters in Colorado and Washington last year. 'I don't have a problem with states experimenting with this sort of thing I think that's the role of states,' Cuccinelli said, according to Ryan Nobles of WWBT." [HuffPost]

ILLINOIS POLITICIAN POSSIBLY HEADING TO JAIL, PT. 42,991 - From the makers of "Texas Lawmaker Cozies Up To Big Oil" and "Rhode Island Politician Just Happy To Be Here." NBC News: "Former Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. has signed papers in a plea deal with federal prosecutors in which he admits to violating campaign finance law, according to sources familiar with the case. In the papers, signed within the past several days, Jackson admits converting campaign contributions for personal use. Some of the violations include using campaign funds for a $40,000 Rolex watch, travel expenses for a friend and furniture purchased for his Washington, D.C., home. Under the terms of the deal, Jackson's sentence would be decided by a federal judge and could range from probation to prison time." [NBC News]

KARL ROVE NOW TROLLING CELEBRITIES - Like an 11-year-old navigating the confusing landscape of young love, Karl Rove is intent on teasing Ashley Judd until she pays attention to him (HuffPost Hill's rejected headline for our Politics page: "SOMEONE LIKE[S] YOU"). Nick Wing: "GOP strategist Karl Rove explained Thursday that his American Crossroads super PAC was intent on launching a sustained attack on actress and potential Kentucky Senate candidate Ashley Judd in hopes of putting her on defense before she even enters the race. 'She's going to get to know that she's not going to be able to wait until the screenwriters from California and producers make her look good and prepare the ads and give her lots of lines to memorize so that she can handle these things,' Rove told Bill O'Reilly of Fox News. 'We're going to make her start saying where she's coming from.' Earlier this week, Rove's super PAC released a web ad painting Judd as an 'Obama-following radical Hollywood liberal' with closer ties to Tennessee than to Kentucky." [HuffPost]

Judd's publicist (you know, a famous person's comms director) responds: "Ashley thanks Senator McConnell, Karl Rove, and their negative allies for all the attention as she considers her future political plans, although a decision hasn't been made yet." [E! News]

STEPHEN COLBERT ADDRESSES DEMOCRATIC CAUCUS - Which will undoubtedly be followed by a Republican conference gathering in which Dennis Miller makes a bunch of references to the Merovingian dynasty that no one gets. Jen Bendery: "Stephen Colbert was the surprise guest at the annual House Democratic retreat on Friday, taking part in a Q&A with House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) -- sometimes as himself, other times in character as the mock conservative pundit he plays on Comedy Central -- and even singing a duet with Rep. Joe Crowley (D-N.Y.)... Colbert told lawmakers that 'Republicans' loss in November has them soul searching...whether or not they have souls,' the source said. On the issue of whether House Democrats will win back the House in 2014, Colbert said he's not sure Americans care either way. Congress is 'less popular than colonoscopies,' he said, 'but just edging out meth labs and gonorrhea. Ironically, the last things we make in the United States.'" [HuffPost]

TONY KUSHNER, 'LINCOLN' SCREENWRITER, NOT HAPPY WITH CONGRESSMAN - Next up, Virginia Foxx critiquing "Angels in America"'s myopic commentary about the racial and sexual continuums. National Journal: "In what has erupted into a public debate over the role of writing history versus historical drama, Rep. Joe Courtney, D-Conn., on Friday said he is “pleased” the screenwriter of the movie Lincoln has conceded the film erroneously depicted Connecticut’s House delegation as opposing the amendment that abolished slavery...'I'm sorry if anyone in Connecticut felt insulted by these 15 seconds of the movie, although issuing a Congressional press release startlingly headlined 'Before The Oscars …' seems a rather flamboyant way to make that known,' writes Kushner...At another point, Kushner snarkily writes of Courtney’s complaint, 'I hope nobody is shocked to learn that I also made up dialogue and imagined encounters and invented characters.'" [National Journal]

BUSH FAMILY EMAIL HACKED - But don't expect to hear about a cache of emails involving W forwarding BuzzFeed links to Jeb ("lololololol look at these ferrets omg their tuxedos!"). AP: "A hacker apparently accessed private photos and emails sent between members of the Bush family, including both former presidents, and a spokesman for George H.W. Bush said a criminal investigation is under way. The Smoking Gun website said the hacker, who went by the online moniker "Guccifer," gained access to emails, photos, private telephone numbers and addresses of Bush family members and friends. The website displayed photos it said came from the hacker, including one that purported to show the elder Bush during his recent near-two-month stay in a Houston hospital where the 88-year-old was treated for complications arising from a bronchial infection. The authenticity of the photos and other details on the website could not immediately be confirmed. A spokesman for former President George H.W. Bush declined to comment on the reports." [AP]

Washington Free Beacon: "Greatest Living President is Also Fantastic Painter" [Really]

BECAUSE YOU'VE READ THIS FAR - Disabled piglet uses a wheelchair made of K'NEX to get around.

CLINT EASTWOOD: YOLO CHAMPION - CNBC: "Hollywood legend and Republican supporter Clint Eastwood told CNBC that Washington gridlock is sending the nation racing towards another contentious debt deadline. 'It's almost like they don't give a damn,' he said, in a 'Squawk Box' interview that aired Friday. The Oscar-winning director who's also known for his tough-guy roles asked rhetorically, 'If they don't give a damn, why did they expect anybody else to?' ...He also dismissed the controversy surrounding the 'invisible Obama' routine at the RNC. 'Seemed odd at the time. But, you know, I'm an odd person,' he laughed. 'One thing about getting into the senior status of life, like I am, you don't really care,' he joked. 'You just say what you say and then you get away with it.'" [CNBC]


- Firefighters really get into the "Harlem Shake" phenomenon... []

- ...and the "Peanuts" gang completely owns the Harlem Shake. []

- A short film written in part by an artificial intelligence program. []

- Are you in the Northeast? Sorry! Here are 22 dogs who make the most of snowy weather. []

- Move over drones, check out this self-driving car. []

- Today in "Things that happen to other people," we are happy to present "Rangers Rinkside Reporter Takes A Puck To The Face." []

- Spike Lee discusses how he got into filmmaking. []


@Mr_Berman: Free Beacon also says that the novel I wrote when I was six has "more raw emotion than much of 'contemporary' literature"

@delrayser: I'm just saying, if I knew the NSA might be reading my email under a program I started, not sure I'd be sending out nude self-portraits.

@EliLake: hey hackers who follow me. Do you know who this guccifer is? Get at me on twitter

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