"If babies had guns," Rep. Steve Stockman mused on Twitter, "they wouldn't be aborted" (he didn't mention that the only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a baby with gun). D.C. Metro stations will be renovated so they look less like a parking garage in the Death Star. And President Obama refused to put on a football helmet, citing the unwritten rule that politicians shouldn't be seen in hats. Also, skinny guys look absolutely HILARIOUS in football helmets. This is HUFFPOST HILL for Friday, April 12th, 2013:
HOUSE GUN BILL READY NEXT WEEK - Politico: "Reps. Peter King and Mike Thompson are planning to introduce a House version of the compromise on background checks for gun buyers on Monday or Tuesday, King told POLITICO exclusively on Friday. 'I will be introducing, along with Mike Thompson [D-Calif.], basically the House version of the Manchin-Toomey bill on Monday or Tuesday at the latest,' the New York Republican said, referencing the bipartisan agreement on background checks reached this week between Sens. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) and Pat Toomey (R-Pa.). He said the legislation will 'replicate' what was agreed to by those senators, a bipartisan deal that expands background checks for commercial gun purchases, including those made at gun shows." [Politico]
GUN CONTROL: LAWMAKERS FINALIZING MENTAL HEALTH PROVISIONS - Times: "Quietly, lawmakers have been working on several plans that would lead to some of the most significant advancements in treating mental illness in years, proponents said. All stand a good chance of being in the final gun-control bill the Senate is now taking up. The legislation would, among other things, finance the construction of more community mental health centers, provide grants to train teachers to spot early signs of mental illness and make more Medicaid dollars available for mental health care. There would be suicide prevention initiatives and support for children who have faced trauma. The sponsors of one of the bills estimated that an additional 1.5 million people with mental illness would be treated each year." [NYT]
Does this mean the president won't wear a kippah? Why does our president hate Israel? (via John Fritze's pool report): "POTUS arrived in the East Room at 2:11 p.m. to present the Commander in Chief's Trophy to Navy football. The team stood on risers behind the president and the trophy itself was positioned to one side. Several members of Maryland's congressional delegation were present, including House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer...After the president's remarks two players presented POTUS with a Navy helmet. Someone in the crowd shouted "put it on." 'Here's a general rule,' the president joked, 'you don't put stuff on your head if you're president. That's politics 101. You never look good wearing something on your head.'"
Behold: The president wearing hats.
DAILY DELANEY DOWNER - Arthur is out today, but this is pretty sad: "[N]on-profit groups that employ the visually impaired have begun to lay off workers as a result of sequestration. The Cincinnati Association for the Blind and Visually Impaired announced on Thursday that it would be letting 28 of its 65-member staff go with sales orders from the federal government drying up. The group works predominantly with the General Services Administration to produce tape products. 'As a result of sequestration federal agencies across the boards have had their budgets cut,' said John Mitchell, executive director of the organization. 'Many have pursued an automatic reduction and stymying of ordering of products they normally would be using. And as a result, they have stopped placing orders with us about three weeks ago.'" [HuffPost's Sam Stein]
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GABBY GIFFORDS TO LOBBY HILL ON GUN CONTROL - NBC News: "[S]he's going to begin her own in-person push for a new compromise to expand background checks for gun sales when she returns to Capitol Hill next week, NBC News has learned. And the gun safety group she founded with husband, Mark Kelly, will begin making robocalls Thursday in Pennsylvania and West Virginia, looking to support the two senators who crafted the deal -- an attempt to demonstrate that the organization is committed to challenging the gun lobby's political infrastructure. She plans to ask for meetings with a number of Republicans -- and Democrats -- who the group believes might be open to supporting the background check compromise amendment to the gun legislation. Senators Pat Toomey and Joe Manchin announced their compromise proposal on Wednesday." [NBC News]
And you thought "Mad Men" would be the most existentially wrenching thing you'd watch this weekend: "President Barack Obama will keep the spotlight on gun violence in his weekly address on Saturday, but he's going to have someone else deliver it: Francine Wheeler, whose six-year-old son was killed in the Newtown, Conn., shootings... It's highly unusual for Obama to pass off his weekly address to someone else. The only other time it has happened, according to Carney, was when Vice President Joe Biden gave the address while Obama was out of the country." [HuffPost's Jen Bendery]
Apparently "closer look" is NASCAR-speak for "blue ribbon commission.": "NASCAR will be taking a 'closer look' at its sponsorship deals in the wake of criticism over its partnership with the National Rifle Association, its spokesman said Friday. Last month, NASCAR announced that the gun lobbying group was sponsoring Saturday's Sprint Cup -- named the NRA 500 -- at the Texas Motor Speedway. Sen. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) objected to the deal, saying 'it would be imprudent for NASCAR to step into such a heated political debate and take sides in this debate by allowing the NRA the title role in the race.'" [HuffPost's Amanda Terkel]
BILL INTRODUCED TO KEEP FEDS FROM BUSTING LEGAL POT - Libertarian Republicans may disapprove of your weed habit, but they'll defend your right to get Cheetos dust everywhere and giggle uncontrollably at "Dinosaurs" reruns. Matt Sledge: "Rep. Dana Rohrbacher (R-Calif.) introduced a bipartisan bill on Friday to protect marijuana users and businesses from federal prosecution when they are following state laws. The Respect State Marijuana Laws Act would shield both medical and recreational pot users...A Pew Poll released last week showed that a broad majority of Americans, even when they don't agree with legalizing marijuana, believe the federal government should not step in to punish users in states that do. Sixty percent of Americans said the federal government should not meddle in states that legalize pot...The bill is cosponsored by Reps. Justin Amash (R-Mich.), Don Young (R-Alaska), Earl Blumenauer (D-Ore.), Steve Cohen (D-Tenn.) and Jared Polis (D-Colo.). Rohrbacher, whose state has a large medical marijuana program, has previously introduced legislation seeking to reclassify marijuana at the federal level as a drug that does have medical uses." [HuffPost]
WHITE HOUSE RELEASES TAX RETURNS - Let's put it this way: don't expect Joe Biden to bankroll that project you're promoting on Kickstarter. White House: "Today, the President released his 2012 federal income tax returns. He and the First Lady filed their income tax returns jointly and reported adjusted gross income of $608,611. The Obamas paid $112,214 in total tax. The President and First Lady also reported donating $150,034 - or about 24.6 percent of their adjusted gross income - to 33 different charities. The largest reported gift to charity was $103,871 to the Fisher House Foundation...The Vice President and Dr. Jill Biden also released their 2012 federal income tax returns, as well as state income tax returns for both Delaware and Virginia. The Bidens filed joint federal and combined Delaware income tax returns. Dr. Biden filed a separate non-resident tax return for the state of Virginia. Together, they reported adjusted gross income of $385,072. The Bidens paid $87,851 in total federal tax for 2012. They paid $13,531 in Delaware income tax and $3,593 in Virginia income tax. The Bidens contributed $7,190 to charity in 2012." [White House]
Transparency fail: "While most presidents and presidential candidates happily release their returns, members of Congress don't usually do so. According to a McClatchy count, just 17 out of the 535 members of Congress released their tax forms in 2012. Of a dozen members of Congress questioned by Whispers, the office of just one lawmaker, Rep. Carl Levin, D-Mich., said he definitely planned to release his tax returns this year." [US News]
NEVER CHANGE, STEVE STOCKMAN - @ReElectStockman: Our campaign bumper sticker: If babies had guns, they wouldn't be aborted. http://stockman2014.com #gosnell #tcot pic.twitter.com/CVaYrQAeK9
@SteveWorks4You: Yes! Democrats said no. RT @Tiredof_urshit So I guess you would have been down with giving slaves guns as they stepped off the ship? #tcot
NO HOMO, FAMILY RESEARCH COUNCIL EDITION - The Hill: "Tony Perkins says religious conservatives should stop donating to the Republican Party until it clarifies its position on social issues. The president of the Family Research Council, a top religious political group, said Thursday night that conservative activists should withhold their political donations to Republicans until the party decides where it will stand on social issues. Tony Perkins, in an email sent to his supporters, criticized the Republican National Committee over a report released last month that suggested the party should reconsider its messaging on same-sex marriage to appeal to younger voters. 'Until the RNC and the other national Republican organizations grow a backbone and start defending core principles, don't send them a dime of your hard-earned money,' Perkins said in the email..." [The Hill]
SC-1: JENNY SANFORD WON'T ENDORSE A CANDIDATE - Probably safe to assume Mark Sanford won't be getting a Christmas card, either. Roll Call: "Former South Carolina first lady Jenny Sanford has no plans to endorse in the 1st District special election that includes her ex-husband, former Gov. Mark Sanford. Democrats plugged into Palmetto State politics previously speculated that if she would endorse the Democrat in the race, Elizabeth Colbert Busch, it would serve as a death blow to her former husband's campaign. But that scenario is not materializing. Jenny Sanford wrote CQ Roll Call in an email: 'I don't have any thoughts on the race that I am currently interested in sharing with the public and I have no plans to endorse,' she said. 'I remain completely focused on the four wonderful men in my life and happily so.'" [Roll Call]
And you thought having the dog in the room killed the mood: "11 Actions That Prove Republicans Are Intent On Making 2013 A Terrible Year For Sex" [HuffPost]
STOP TRYING TO MAKE 'HOT' HAPPEN, REP. STEVE COHEN - Politico: "Rep. Steve Cohen says a deleted tweet from Tuesday on Cyndi Lauper was just a big joke... The Tennessee Democrat sent two eyebrow-raising tweets to Lauper and quickly deleted them. 'I tweeted exactly what I wanted to tweet and I deleted exactly what I wanted to delete," Cohen told reporters at a hastily called press conference Friday. 'Because in this age, which I learned a couple of months ago with a situation with some very loving tweets to my daughter, I discovered the best way to get a message out is to tweet and delete,' he added. 'Because the press will immediately assume the worst, something salacious, something nefarious and jump on it.'... 'It was a hot show, Memphis music is hot, Cyndi Lauper's performance was hot, so was Justin Timberlake's... I wanted the world to know about it,' he said." [Politico]
BECAUSE YOU'VE READ THIS FAR - Gorilla is afraid of goose.
METRO STATIONS TO BE MADE LESS HIDEOUS - In short, the hope is that Woodley Park/Adams Morgan will resemble a Marriott. WaPo: "The iconic design of Metro's rail stations, intended to echo the monuments that make up the capital landscape, is going to be given a very modern makeover, officials said Thursday. Stainless steel, bright lights and clear glass would supplant the soft lighting and dark colors that were defining elements of the subway system when it was designed and built in the 1960s and 1970s...Carrying out the modernization effort across much or all of Metro's 86-station system could cost tens of millions of dollars, said Dan Stessel, a Metro spokesman. He said that after completing the Bethesda prototype, the transit agency will decide how to move forward." [WaPo]
- "The Simpsons" take on "Breaking Bad." [http://bit.ly/113Luau]
- Janitor mops up to Billy Joel's "Vienna." Easily the best Joel-based choreography since "Movin' Out." [http://huff.to/ZlTqRv]
- Stephen Hawking says mankind has 1000 years to escape Earth. Gulp.[http://huff.to/YO79UA]
- Arrested Development characters and lines reimagined as album covers. [http://bit.ly/123mPnN]
- Eleven hit songs that were originally written for other performers. [http://bit.ly/10QAlbz]
- All the world's people, squeezed into one webpage. [http://bit.ly/YhNfOh]
- Paint exploding in slow motion. [http://bit.ly/XwE2Ev]
@Chris_Moody: Sad news: Voyeur West Hollywood has closed down, so Republicans couldn't visit during this week's RNC meeting in LA.
@pourmecoffee: All my tweets are to be read in a whisper please while The Masters is in play.
@Indecision: Stephen Hawking: we have 1,000 years to escape Earth. It's a number associated with space travel. America will find a way to cut it in half.
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