POLITICS

HUFFPOST HILL - House GOP To Punch Obamacare Repeal Card, Earn Free 6-Inch Sub

05/03/2013 05:01 pm ET | Updated Jul 03, 2013

Members of Congress are saying "jobs" less often, unless "Benghazi answers" is an obscure synonym for the word. Huffington Post's 250,000,000th comment was "I agree," though we were hoping it'd be "9/11 WUZ AN INSIDE JOB ASK 4 THA TRUTH" in an article titled "Judi Dench Did WHAT To A Meerkat? (PHOTO)." And Newt Gingrich tweeted a glowing review of McDonald's grilled chicken McWrap. This day will only get better when Rick Santorum extols the virtues of combination KFC/Taco Bells. This is HUFFPOST HILL for Friday, May 3rd, 2013:

CANTOR OUTLINES AGENDA FOR MAY - The House majority leader has been reading up on the multiverse and relativity and is pretty sure that one of these times an Obamacare repeal bill will become law. Politico: "The House will vote again in the 'near future' on full repeal of Obamacare, House Majority Leader Eric Cantor said in a memo to fellow Republicans Friday... But conservatives, particularly freshmen, have been eager to hold another vote. He said the House will vote on a bills pushing construction of the Keystone XL pipeline, requiring the SEC to conduct cost-benefit analysis of rulemaking, allowing working parents to accrue paid time off, and prioritizing payments if the debt ceiling is hit. He also plans to hold a vote on a bill to fund pediatric research at the NIH by eliminating taxpayer funding of presidential campaigns and party conventions. Later this summer, Cantor says the GOP plans to move spending bills 'through an open appropriations process,' pass the Defense Department authorization bill and 'consider a Farm bill produced by the Agriculture Committee and Frank Lucas.' Later this summer, Cantor says the GOP plans to move spending bills 'through an open appropriations process,' pass the Defense Department authorization bill and 'consider a Farm bill produced by the Agriculture Committee and Frank Lucas.'" [Politico]

Cantor's promise to "allow working parents to accrue paid time off" is an effort to wipe out overtime and paid vacation all at once, and replace it with this: Hey, if you work more than 40 hours, we'll give you time off instead of time and a half.

DAILY DELANEY DOWNER - The U.S. Labor Department announced Friday morning that the economy has been steadily adding jobs, pushing the unemployment rate down to 7.5 percent from 7.6 percent. The improvement won't mean much to people without jobs, especially people who've been unemployed a long time. An economist with the labor-focused Economic Policy Institute called the report a disaster, saying it would take five whole years for the current rate of growth to return the country to full employment. "This is a classic 'hold-steady' report -- enough job growth to keep the unemployment rate stable but not much more," EPI's Heidi Sheirholz said in a statement. "In good times, this would be fine, but at a time like this, it represents an ongoing disaster." [HuffPost]

DOUBLE DOWNER - Emma Campbell of Seneca, S.C. worked in a factory for 17 years, helping make medical equipment like compression sleeves and bandages, before returning to school for a master's in public administration. In 2008 she landed a job as administrator for a national nonprofit that helps women in the construction industry. "I just decided one day I do not want to be in a factory for the rest of my life," Campbell said. "But right now I'm feeling like why did I even go to this trouble." Last year the nonprofit moved its main office to Florida and she lost her job. Now Campbell, 49, has been unemployed for seven months -- making her officially one of the 4.4 million long-term unemployed. Their ranks have been slowly shrinking, but economists can't say with certainty whether they're finding jobs or discontinuing their search. She's coping with the anxiety that afflicts many in her cohort, not to mention the well-documented skepticism from employers who would rather hire people who are not unemployed. Campbell said a temp agency staffer even told her to take credentials off her resume since it might make potential employers think she'd leave as soon as she found something better. She said she has been offering to work for free at nearby nonprofits to eliminate gaps on her resume. "The economy is so bad, I feel like I'm competing with a million other people," Campbell said. [Ibid]

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OBAMA INNER CIRCLE FIIIIIIIIIIGHT!!!!! - This is the most salacious executive branch tiff since Steven Chu got locked into that knock-down-drag-out with Bo. BuzzFeed: "The nomination of billionaire Penny Pritzker to be secretary of Commerce will import a Chicago rivalry into the Obama administration. Pritzker and Obama confidante Valerie Jarrett share roots in their native city's insular business community and will have overlapping portfolios of outreach to corporate America. But there is no love lost between the two women, people who know both say: Indeed, Jarrett tried to torpedo the appointment, someone she made the case to told BuzzFeed. And their tense relationship could help define the administration's attempts to mend ties with the business world that frayed badly during the first term. A top fundraiser for his first campaign, Pritzker -- who inherited the Hyatt Hotel fortune -- stayed outside the administration during his first term. Jarrett, who came up in the world of Chicago real estate, tried to manage relationships with business leaders who felt shut out by a president who didn't want to golf with them and complained of populist rhetoric. Unhappy with Jarrett, many directed their complaints to Pritzker, people familiar with the tensions say. And when Obama began to seriously consider her as Commerce secretary, Jarrett tried to stop it, arguing that the pick would provoke a backlash from labor leaders and progressives over Hyatt's tense relations with the union representing hotel workers." [BuzzFeed]

JERBS JERBS JERBS JERBS JERBS JERBS JERBS JERBS JERBS - Ariel Edwards-Levy: "Congressional attention to jobs -- or, at least, talking about them -- reached its peak in 2011, when the word was mentioned, on average, more than 2,000 times a month, according to the Sunlight Foundation's Capitol Words tool...Congress hasn't exactly stopped talking about employment since then, but by 2012, the average mentions of "jobs" per month had slowed to 925. This year so far, that pace is under 500. Mentions of the economy took a similar dip, from an average 926 per month in 2011 to 399 per month so far this year.... Although in the past five years Democrats have mentioned jobs a little more often than their Republican counterparts, the leveling-off has been pretty much bipartisan. It's not uncommon these days for the set of Sunday shows to pass without either jobs or the economy being mentioned, and little is heard of the crisis in presidential press conferences." [HuffPost]

@jbendery: HuffPost's 250,000,000th comment: "I agree." huff.to/112GyGU

The context of the "I agree" is perfect:

firstamendment3: More coverups and counterintelligence.
donaldaq63: Counter intelligence? Isn't Sarah Palin the spokesperson for that?
firstamendment3: No. Technically speaking she is anti-intelligence.
JBird64: Dont you have to have some kind of intelligence to be anti?
vmark: and still smarter than any liberal.
aaldrew: I agree.
[BALLOONS DROP]

POLL: MASSACHUSETTS SENATE RACE CLOSE - Ariel Edwards-Levy and Luke Johnson: "Rep. Ed Markey (D-Mass.) enters the general election to fill John Kerry's Senate seat with a relatively slender 4-point lead over Republican rival Gabriel Gomez, according to a poll released Friday. Markey is supported by 44 percent of likely Massachusetts voters, while Gomez is backed by 40 percent, the Democratic firm Public Policy Polling (PPP) found. As seen in the Pollster chart, which combines all available public polling, that margin is considerably narrower than the double-digit leads Markey held before the April 30 primary election." [HuffPost]

KELLY AYOTTE DUCKS MEETING WITH GUN VICTIM'S WIDOW - Amanda Terkel: "Sen. Kelly Ayotte (R-N.H.) has turned down a dinner invitation during the congressional recess from a woman whose husband was killed by gun violence. Anne Lyczak lost her husband Richard in January 1994, when he was killed in a drive-by shooting in Portsmouth, N.H. Last week, Lyczak wrote a letter to Ayotte, inviting her to dinner at her house to talk about ways to prevent gun violence. The senator recently voted against legislation sponsored by Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) and Pat Toomey (R-Pa.) legislation that would have expanded background checks for gun buyers. Lyczak said she was "disappointed" by Ayotte's vote... Ayotte's office, however, turned down Lyczak's request, saying the senator would keep it under consideration for the future. Ayotte's office cited scheduling constraints, according to an email shared with The Huffington Post by the group Mayors Against Illegal Guns, which backed Manchin-Toomey." [HuffPost]

2016: NANCY PELOSI NON-ENDORSES ENDORSES HILLARY CLINTON - Luke Johnson: "House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said Thursday that former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton would be the most qualified potential nominee for president in recent history and that she prays for her to run in 2016. 'I pray that Hillary Clinton decides to run for president of the United States,' she said to loud applause in Little Rock, Ark.,according to a video of her remarks posted by the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette. 'Nobody has been first lady and senator and now secretary of state. Putting everything aside that she is a woman, she'd be the best qualified person that we've seen with all due respect to President Clinton when he went in, President Obama, President Bush and everybody else.' Pelosi added that she had no inside knowledge of any run." [HuffPost]

Womp womp, 2016 edition: "Gov. Andrew Cuomo may have his eye on the White House, but it looks his sister may be gunning for the opposite team. Mr. Cuomo's sister, film producer Maria Cuomo-Cole, took to Twitter Friday morning to publicly support an EMILY's List campaign to put a woman in the White House-a campaign that isn't shy about it's support for former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, widely considered Mr. Cuomo's biggest barrier to the Democratic nomination. 'In honor of my daughters, I'm supporting #MPOTUS. Help all of our daughters realize there is no limit to their dreams,' Ms. Cuomo-Cole tweeted, with a link to the group's 'Madam President' campaign."
[NY Observer]

THAT TIME CLARENCE THOMAS DISSED THE PRESIDENT'S BLACKNESS - Because no one has been better for black people than Clarence Thomas. "Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas doesn't speak much on the job, but during an interview last month at Duquesne Law School in Pittsburgh, Pa., he offered some candid insight into his thoughts about politics and President Barack Obama. Asked if Obama's election as the first black president came as a surprise, Thomas said it didn't, claiming that he'd always believed a black person would become president one day. He went on to say, however, that Obama had only been elected because the president won over the elites and media, something Thomas argued most black people must do in order to advance. 'The thing that I always knew is that it would have to be a black president who was approved by the elites and the media, because anybody they didn't agree with, they would take apart,' Thomas said in a clip that surfaced on Friday. 'You pick your person. Any black person who says something that is not the prescribed things that they expect from a black person will be picked apart.'" [HuffPost]

BECAUSE YOU'VE READ THIS FAR - Small dog tries to walk bigger dog.

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- Twenty-two of the most secluded places in the world. [http://bit.ly/15eqD9I]

TWITTERAMA

@newtgingrich: McDonald's grilled chicken mcwrap at 250 calories is both a dollar and pound bargain

@delrayser: NRA convention happening in Houston right now so if you have some freedom you need defending you're on your own.

@HuffPoGuesses: Drink coffee? RT @-HuffPostTravel How to get that coffee fix when you're traveling huff.to/16A7caU

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