HUFFPOST HIll - Joe Biden, Baby

04/09/2015 04:53 pm ET

The possibility of a Lincoln Chafee presidential campaign is causing mass euphoria amongst No Labels staffers, and once Chafee announces his running mate -- the ghost of Arlen Specter -- they’ll go absolutely bonkers. Republicans are rallying against the Obama administration's anti-red meat initiatives, a campaign that should be called "SNAP Into A Slim Jim." And a baby’s pacifier found its way into Joe Biden’s mouth. Reached for comment, a wistful look crept across the Vice President's face before he mumbled something about a bitchin’ rave at Paradise Garage in the summer of 1993. This is HUFFPOST HILL for Thursday, April 9th, 2015:

DEMS TRY TO WATER DOWN IRAN BILL - Burgess Everett: "With Congress poised to take up a bipartisan bill the White House fears could scuttle its delicate nuclear framework with Iran, Senate Democrats on Wednesday sought to modify the legislation to assuage President Barack Obama’s concerns. Democrats are hoping that Republicans will agree to their suggested changes to the measure that would give Congress review power over the nuclear agreement -- and the GOP’s pursuit of a veto-proof majority in favor of the legislation may depend on it." [Politico]

Liberal Glenn Thrush has admitted Hillary Clinton's campaign is collapsing, according to this classic Daily Caller item.

FOOD STAMP ACTION NEXT WEEK - The House Agriculture Committee will hear from a former food stamp recipient Wednesday morning as part of a hearing about what charitable organizations do to help out with feeding the poor. (And, presumably, what things they do better than the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program does.)

Ga ga go go ::finger gun:: "Vice President Joe Biden shared a special moment with the grandson of former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg. Bloomberg’s daughter, Georgina, posted a photo on Facebook of Biden holding her son. The vice president is pictured with the infant child’s pacifier in his mouth." [The Hill]


DAILY DELANEY DOWNER - People unemployed in 2014 couldn't count on a college degree to save them from long-term joblessness, according to some new data from the Labor Department showing all levels of educational attainment almost equally representated among those jobless at least six months. The data also show it doesn't matter what industry you work in. Worst of all, the longer you're out of work, the less likely you are to get another job. Yikes.

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SANTORUM TAKES STEP TOWARD WHITE HOUSE BID - Bold move from the Wednesday-at-3-pm 2016 Republican convention speaker. Jake Miller: "Former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum has set up a testing the waters account in anticipation of a possible 2016 presidential bid, CBS News has learned. The account allows Santorum, a Republican who ran for president in 2012, to raise and spend money under the same caps governing an actual campaign committee ($2,700 for individual donors, and $5,000 for couples.) Unlike a campaign committee, though, a testing the waters account does not have to disclose its finances...Santorum currently has a political action committee and a 501(c)4 non-profit advocacy group, both named Patriot Voices. The PAC has, up until now, served as his primary political arm. The PAC and the 501(c)4 have raised a combined $10 million dollars in the last two years, [adviser Matt] Beynon said." [CBS News]

The nation turns its lonely eyes to you, Tom Vilsack: "Former Rhode Island Gov. Lincoln Chafee on Thursday announced he is considering running for the 2016 Democratic presidential nomination. The 62-year-old, who served as a Republican senator before winning the governor's office as an independent, said he is alarmed about global turmoil in Africa and the Middle East...In the Senate, Chafee was the only Republican to vote against the authorization for the use of military force in Iraq, a distinction he does not share with presumptive Democratic frontrunner Hillary Clinton, who voted for the war. Other presumptive challengers in the Democratic primary include former Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley, U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), and former U.S. Sen. Jim Webb (Va.)." [HuffPost's Igor Bobic]

EAST WING STAFF SHUFFLING - There are also openings for Deputy Chief of Staff for Turning Vegetables Into French Fries So Kids Will Eat Them and Senior Advisor for Harmless Television Appearances. Michael Shear: "The first lady, Michelle Obama, is losing two key advisers, including Jeremy Bernard, the White House social secretary, who will be leaving his post overseeing the elaborate parties and showy public events at the most famous of Washington addresses. Mr. Bernard will be followed out the door by M. C. González, the first lady’s communications director, who helped shape Mrs. Obama’s everywoman image. The departures come on the heels of an abrupt exit by Laura Dowling, the White House florist, who was reportedly escorted out of the building in February...For Mrs. Obama and the East Wing, the departures leave some big holes just as she has been increasing her public profile in the twilight of her husband’s presidency. Last month, she used a solo five-day trip to Asia to promote education for girls and to press for human rights...East Wing officials say the departures are the typical moves of a long-serving staff in the latter days of a presidential term. They said the departures of Mr. Bernard and Ms. González would make way for other trusted staff to move up." [NYT]

Speaking of government jackboots forcing us to eat vegetables: "A group of 71 GOP House members has jumped into a growing controversy over proposed new dietary guidelines for Americans released earlier this year by a USDA advisory committee. Republicans voiced concerns about the panel, known as the Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee, in a March 31 letter to Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Burwell and USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack, calling the committee’s suggestions 'conflicting.'... Rep. Tim Huelskamp, one of the letter’s co-signers, took to Twitter Wednesday to call the guidelines an attack on his meat-producing state...In its report, the DGAC calls for emphasizing an American diet less dependent on meat -- in part because of meat production’s impact on the environment." [Roll Call]

HUFFPOST HILL FACTS OF LIFE: Meat-industry lobbyists think you should eat lots of meat.

ERIC CANTOR GOES FULL RINO - Eric Cantor has gone from using the Take a Penny, Leave a Penny tray at his local deli to advocating for full-on wealth redistribution, completing his transition to a marxist socialist. Sam Stein: "If they want to secure increases in defense spending, he said, they should dramatically increase funding for biomedical research -- and put it all on the nation's credit card. 'The president has consistently said, and the Democrats' position remains, that if there is going to be an increase in defense spending there must be a commensurate increase in domestic spending,' Cantor said in an interview with The Huffington Post. 'My position would be, let's go ahead and commit to long-term creation of value, let's go in and put all the incremental dollars on the domestic side into scientific and medical research.' Cantor has been a longtime champion of the National Institutes of Health, almost single-handedly passing a bill during his last year in office to devote millions to pediatric research. So his forceful testimonial in support of greater federal spending on science is not surprising in itself. But he also has always balanced his advocacy with insistence on austerity. His bill, the Gabriella Miller Kids First Research Act, for example, was offset by ending the public funding of presidential conventions." [HuffPost]

NATIONAL ZOO, DEPT OF EDUCATION EMPLOYEES FILE WAGE COMPLAINT - Maybe if we spent a little less money on Mei Xiang and Tian Tian's goddamned Amazon Prime accounts, we wouldn't have this problem. Dave Jamieson: "A group of D.C. workers employed under federal contracts filed a complaint with the Labor Department on Wednesday alleging that they've been illegally underpaid for years. Most of the 15 workers named in the letter to officials earn less than $10 per hour and work at the National Zoo and the Department of Education. The group filing the complaint, Good Jobs Nation, which is backed by labor unions, claims that the workers' pay rates fail to meet the prevailing wage requirements under federal law. One of the workers, Sonia Chavez, said in a call with reporters Thursday that she cleans the office of Education Secretary Arne Duncan, and earns $9.50 per hour. Good Jobs Nation says that Chavez should be earning close to $15 in pay and benefits under the Service Contract Act, a 1965 law that requires federal contractors to provide minimum pay-and-benefit packages according to occupation and region." [HuffPost]

BECAUSE YOU'VE READ THIS FAR - Here are some flatulent horses.

RANDOM DUDE'S PRESIDENTIAL SUMMIT OUTFIT DECIDEDLY OFF FLEEK - And don't even get Marvin Lance Futch started on how weak his broach game was that time Madeleine Albright decided to make an unannounced drop-in. Maxwell Tani: "If Marvin Lance Futch had known that he would be meeting with President Barack Obama, he may have worn something nicer than a wrinkled polo shirt. Last week, Obama hosted a roundtable discussion on solar energy at Hill Air Force base in Utah. Among those in attendance were Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah), Rep. Rob Bishop (R-Utah), Salt Lake City Mayor Ralph Becker and Futch, a mid-level designer at Vivint Solar. Futch told the New York Post that he’d been instructed to wear business casual to Obama's speech, and didn’t know he’d be speaking privately with the president himself. “So when President Obama walked in the room, I’m looking down at my white polo going, ‘Well, if I would have known this, I would have worn my military blues or at least a suit and tie.’ I admit I was feeling a little underdressed at the moment,” Futch said. According to a Reddit user who claimed to work with Futch at the residential solar company, Vivint accidentally sent Futch instead of the company’s CEO to the discussion with Obama." [HuffPost]


- For those upset over the recent "Top Gear" troubles, take your mind off it with some NSFW "Top Gear" fan-fiction erotica.

- A top NASA scientist belives we will encounter alien life in the next few decades.

- These 1980s Japanese ads for WHAM are the most rad things you'll see today


@nicolegelinas: Pool report this morning was just so perfect. 'an abrupt stop left Mr. Schumer stumbling down the aisle. “I’m falling down,” he reported.'

@Ali_Gharib: "What's up with that?" -Rand Paul on things.

@EvanMcSan: man this fortune cookie I just got was spot on: Every Politician You Dimly Remember From The Early 2000s Will Run For President This Year

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