POLITICS
09/30/2010 06:35 pm ET Updated May 25, 2011

HUFFPOST HILL - SEPTEMBER 30TH, 2010

It's lady's night in HuffPost Hill: Because cutting unemployment benefits was starting to lose its punch, Linda McMahon suggested the minimum wage get a fresh look. Nancy Pelosi's up for cutting corporate taxes. Mary Landrieu's "sad" and "outrageous" hold of the OMB chief still stands. And Garrison Keillor probably won't be meeting Michele Bachmann for drinks at the Sidetrack Tap anytime soon. This is HUFFPOST HILL for Thursday, September 30th, 2010:

PELOSI OPEN TO CUTTING CORPORATE TAX RATE - Speaker Nancy Pelosi told the PBS NEWSHOUR in a taped interview that she is open to lowering the corporate tax rate as part of comprehensive reform that would close other loopholes, according to a transcript provided to HuffPost Hill. "[I]f they want to go into other issues related to the tax code, we're all for putting everything on the table, talking about simplification, talking about fairness, or perhaps lowering the corporate rate if we close loopholes," she said. Both Democratic and Republican senators have been talking about making 2011 the year to do broad tax reform, which would be a boon for K Street in the short term but could end some of the annually extended credits that fuel the shakedown.

Pelosi wouldn't give an inch to the notion that the GOP will take over the House. "I'm thinking it's great that they think that, but we are acting upon another possibility and that is that we will hold the House," she said. "For some reason when [Democratic members] come here they say, 'What's all this conversation about in Washington? We don't see that in our districts.'"

TED KAUFMAN REPLACING ELIZABETH WARREN AS OVERSIGHT PANEL CHAIR - The Delaware Democrat will take over after a new senator is sworn in November 15th. The panel is set to expire in April, but still has six reports left to write. How long could they keep following each other? Warren heads to the Senate from Massachusetts in 2012, Kaufman takes over at the consumer bureau. Works for HuffPost Hill... http://huff.to/a3LUFu

RAHM OUT, ROUSE IN - "Mr. Obama planned to name Pete Rouse, a senior adviser, to replace Mr. Emanuel. Mr. Rouse has been at the president's side since Mr. Obama arrived in Washington nearly six years ago as a senator, serving as his chief of staff. Mr. Rouse has publicly expressed reservations about taking the chief of staff job for an extended period, but he has apparently agreed to do the job - for now." NYT: http://nyti.ms/9oMNH0

PELOSI ENDORSES RAHM - In a moment of fear, no doubt, the speaker confirmed that she would be endorsing Emanuel -- either spurning or completely forgetting about Jesse Jackson Jr. and Luis Gutierrez, both of whom may yet throw their hats in the ring. Lucia Graves: "The Speaker lavished him with praise, referencing his 'great reputation' and the 'affection' he enjoys from former colleagues in the House of Representatives. 'He can do anything he sets his mind to,' Pelosi told a room full of reporters, 'and we all wish him much success. I extended those greetings to him myself this morning at the White House.' Audience members were unsurprised by the Speaker's decision to endorse Rahm when pressed. 'Well of course," said the reporter sitting behind HuffPost. 'She doesn't want to cross him...'" http://huff.to/bImA62

Rahm already has a healthy war chest to fall back on: "Emanuel has nearly $1.2 million left over from his last congressional race that he could use if he runs for mayor. And he would likely lean on those same national and Chicago networks to raise an additional $3 million or so he'll need to compete. The question is whether corporate America is still behind him. 'Local CEOs want to wait and see how this all shakes out and don't want to show their hand yet,' said Cindi Canary, executive director of the Illinois Campaign for Political Reform, who said it's permissible for Emanuel to use leftover funds from his congressional days for a mayoral run." Tribune: http://bit.ly/b1ktsE

@samyoungman: just saw Gephardt leaving the WH. Me, joking: "Are you the new chief of staff?" Gephardt: "Not on your life."

GIBBS: LANDRIEU HOLD ON OMB NOMINEE IS "SAD," "OUTRAGEOUS" - Employing language typically reserved for teenagers caught drinking in their local church, White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs chastised Senator Mary Landrieu's for placing a hold on the president's OMB nominee. "I think it is a sad day when somebody is held up with such bipartisan support with the type of experience that's necessary in an environment where we have to improve our fiscal picture that that person is held up for something that is completely unrelated to them," Gibbs said. "I think it is sad and I think it's outrageous." Sam Stein: http://huff.to/bzmzOq

SCOTT BROWN CHANNEL'S MICHAEL JORDAN'S 'FLU GAME' ON SENATE FLOOR - It's been a rough week for Scott Brown, despite the presence in his office of his daughter's dogs, Snuggles and Kado. (They're really his dogs now, he tells HuffPost Hill, since his daughter's in college.) Battling pneumonia, Brown nevertheless took to the Senate floor to discuss the historic nature of his tenure so far as a Senator. The speech called to mind Michael Jordan's epic performance in 1997 against the Utah Jazz. The must-watch Ben Craw mashup: http://huff.to/dhXQ0k

SAXBY CHAMBLISS STAFFER FIRED FOR ANTI-GAY SLUR - IP addresses are harsh mistresses: After a progressive blogger traced back the source of a anti-gay comment to the Georgia senator's office, Chambliss today announced that he had fired the aide in question. "The office of the Senate Sergeant at Arms has concluded its investigation, and I responded to that report immediately with the removal of a member of my staff. I commend the Sergeant at Arms, Terrance Gainer, and his staff for their very thorough and professional work. I have called Mr. Jervis, the blog's author, and apologized to him personally, and I am sorry for the hurt this incident has caused. Regardless of one's position on issues and policies, such comments are simply unacceptable, are not befitting those who work in the U.S. Senate, and I will not tolerate them from my staff." Gives new meaning to the term "trolling for votes."

DISSENSION AMONG BOEHNER'S RANKS? - House leadership positions it would seem, like the effects of Sothys' Soins de Soleil Face and Body Self-Tanning Cream, aren't permanent. ABC News is reporting that some members of John Boehner's caucus are uneasy about reelecting him as their leader. "On ABC's 'Top Line' today, Rep. Michael Burgess, R-Texas, said it would be 'premature' for members of his caucus to line up behind Boehner, R-Ohio, particularly when there's likely to be so many new Republicans coming to Congress. 'There's going to be an election here in just a little over a month's time. Who knows what is going to happen, but there may be an enormous number of new members on my side, in my conference,' Burgess said. 'Let's see what happens. Right now I'll commit for voting for a conservative speaker of the house. I'm going to try to pick the most conservative candidate that's out there, and we'll see what happens.'" http://bit.ly/92WCQO

HuffPost Hill's bucket of water: Boehner and Burgess have a history and Burgess has been on the outs since Boehner refused to back him in his bid for chair of the Policy Committee. So this may be less an indication of unrest -- not that there won't be any -- and more Burgess just poking Boehner in the eyepiece. (Thad McCotter is policy chairman and has suggested abolishing the panel.)

ELECTION SPENDING JUMPS $34 MILLION IN PAST WEEK If we can't do anything to stop the steady erosion of the democratic process, at least we can watch it happen in real time. The Sunlight Foundations' new "Folllow The Unlimited Money" gadget shows a jump of $34 million is electioneering and independent expenditures the past week. Outside of the party committees, Democrats expect to get barely any independent money up on television. Independent expenditures are up 31 percent over the last midterm: http://bit.ly/9IOUGw

DAILY DELANEY DOWNER From AD: "The Department of Health and Human Services has provided no updates since the beginning of August on the progress of its program to provide health insurance to the uninsurable, though Democrats in Congress and the administration have frequently touted the program, a top Republican idea, as one of the best 'early deliverables' of health care reform. How much is it delivering? As of early August, just 750 people had been approved for coverage in the 22 states where the federal government is running the $5 billion program, which launched in July and is called the Pre-Existing Condition Insurance Plan. Kaiser Health News reported that 'about 1,200 have been approved so far in state plans that started in the beginning of July.' Nobody asked Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius about the program at a Christian Science Monitor breakfast on Thursday morning. Sebelius refused to answer questions from HuffPost about the PCIP as she was leaving the hour-long press event. A spokeswoman said there's no update now anyway." http://huff.to/cRZeB6

Today is Nick Sabloff's last day as the editor of HuffPost World. He's going to get wicked hammered tonight to...forget.

'NETROOTS' GOES BIG FOR FEINGOLD - He may not be loved by his colleagues, but progressives still consider Russ Feingold to be a real mensch. "Progressive groups have made Sen. Russ Feingold's difficult re-election bid a top priority, raising more than $600K for the Wisconsin Democrat in the last four days. MoveOn.org, the liberal blog FireDogLake.com and Democracy For America are behind the fundraising, which will be funneled directly to Feingold's war chest." http://bit.ly/d4bTXd

LINDA MCMAHON: MINIMUM WAGE SHOULD BE REVIEWED - "The minimum wage now in our country, I think we've set that, so there are a lot of people have benefited from it in our country, but I think we ought to review how much it ought to be, and whether or not we ought to have increases in the minimum wage," McMahon said at a press conference. Arthur Delaney: http://huff.to/bNy6aA

Hartford Courant: "...shades of George W. Bush's astonishment at supermarket scanners in the early 1990s." http://bit.ly/aqGREz --- Courtesy of @evale72.

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SECOND WEBSITE HAS SUSPICIOUS CHRISTINE O'DONNELL WORK INFO- But this time O'Donnell's campaign is confirming that she authored the dubious bio. Sam Stein: "On Thursday, the Democratic National Committee pointed out a second O'Donnell Internet profile also lists the candidate as having studied at the University of Oxford (O'Donnell took a course with the Phoenix Institute on Oxford's campus). On a Zoom Info entry, the Delaware Republican is described as having received a 'Certificate' in 'Post Modernism in the New Millennium' at the University of Oxford. The entry, as noted in the top right corner, was 'User Verified.'...So where (if not LinkedIn) did ZoomInfo get the false information that O'Donnell attended Oxford? [ZoomInfo spokesperson Matt] Lloyd said it came from the candidate herself." http://huff.to/cuYg7Z

TODAY'S TERKEL TAKEDOWN - Amanda Terkel: "House Democrats are calling on their caucus to start shining light on the shadowy independent 527s and super PACs springing up before the November elections. Using the example of Rep. Pete DeFazio (D-Ore.) and his confrontation with the Concerned Taxpayers of America last week, Democratic leaders are urging lawmakers to go on the offensive. The DCCC's advice: 'Tell your opponent to show you the money.'" http://huff.to/aEa96p

Oh good, those Taiwanese animators have tackled the brouhaha around Bob Woodward's new book: http://bit.ly/cKpymC

TPM: "The National Republician Campaign Committee is running an ad against Democratic House incumbent Baron Hill of Indiana. No, that's not our typo, it's theirs. Hill has served his district since 1999, but was booted from Congress for one term by Republican Mike Sodrel in 2005 only to return to Congress in 2007. Now the GOP is trying to take the seat back yet again by tying him to Democratic leadership." http://bit.ly/cepBEL

GARRISON KEILLOR: MICHELE BACHMANN DEFINITELY BELOW AVERAGE - Well it's been a quite week in Michele Bachmann's brain... "Garrison Keillor, humorist and host of radio show 'A Prairie Home Companion,' invoked his fictional Minnesota town of Lake Wobegon to make a fundraising pitch Thursday for sixth district challenger Tarryl Clark. Keillor wrote that Lake Wobegon was 'smack in the middle of Minnesota -- in Minnesota's sixth congressional district,' and said it was 'embarrassing to me and a great many Minnesotans' that Rep. Michele Bachmann represented the district." Star Tribune: http://bit.ly/aCcPCz

JOE MILLER KIND OF BEING A DOUCHE ON TWITTER - Despite exuding a man-of-the-north, gun rack-y persona, Joe Miller has been expressing a strong interest in interior design and real estate lately. "Think I'll do some house hunting while I'm in DC #teaparty #tcot #tpp #alaska #ak," he tweeted recently. This was soon followed by "Guess I should pick up some office furniture, as well, while in DC #teaparty #tcot #tpp #alaska #ak," and "Then there's the matter of a name plaque for the door #teaparty #tcot #tpp #alaska #ak." Joe's jonesing for antiquing isn't what has the mediaverse in a tizzy, of course. It's that he's a wee bit presumptuous about his chances. Still, we applaud Mr. Miller for his sudden Victorian interest in maintaining a suitable home. Joe Miller: Happy to help you tie that animal to the hood of your truck and find a decent end table to match that bi-cast leather sofa. NYT: http://nyti.ms/cGKObX

A new poll indicates there is quite the groundswell of support for a Lisa Murkowski write-in bid. A survey conducted by Ivan Moore Research has Murkowski beating Joe Miller 43 percent to 36 percent. Without Murkowski even being mentioned as a candidate, she still earns the support 18 percent of respondents. Anchorage Press: http://bit.ly/adsJe4

MISSOURI SENATE RACE MIRED IN ACCUSATIONS OF POTATOES - Robin Carnahan and Roy Blunt each have ads up accusing one another of supporting federal largess. The Carnahan ad, entitled "Potatoes," claims Blunt supported pork projects that funded a "museum for teapots," a "swimming pool" and a "center for studying potatoes." Blunt's ad, meanwhile, accuses Carnahan and President Obama of mutual back-scratching by saying Carnahan's brother's wind farm received "$100 million stimulus dollars" because she campaigned for President Obama. Really, we all win. Kansas City Star: http://bit.ly/ajLFAF

Charlie Cook on Richard Burr: "You can have a day long symposium on why his numbers are so weak...and he's a very lucky man. The Democratic Party can't afford to mount a challenge down here. In another year, another environment, he might not be coming back to Washington, at least not as a senator." News and Observer: http://bit.ly/9bThzY

MIKE BLOOMBERG'S STIRRING CASE FOR WHY HE WON'T RUN FOR PRESIDENT - "Can't win." http://bit.ly/9r8iCS

Today in "Jack Conway better have a killer response ad ready:": "State Auditor Crit Luallen on Thursday released an audit that found 30 matches when comparing the addresses of Kentucky's registered sex offenders to the addresses of state-regulated child care facilities or homes...The audit covered homes involved in kinship care in which relatives have temporary custody, foster homes, and in-home child care providers who are registered by the state. Children were not living at the majority of the homes at the same time as the sex offenders, cabinet officials said in its response to the audit." Lexington Herald-Leader: http://bit.ly/djiMf5

Rand Paul might not need to go negative. A Rasmussen survey has Paul leading Jack Conway 49 percent to 38 percent. http://bit.ly/bwkKPy

REPORT CLAIMS TEXAS GOVERNOR RECEIVES MILLIONS FROM APPOINTEES - Do you have any idea how much buckshot can be pumped into trespassing coyotes for $17 million? That's how much a new report alleges Texas Governor Rick Perry has received from his political appointees and their spouses since 2001 -- roughly 20% of his total campaign contributions. Dallas Morning News: http://bit.ly/aW1C2g

BECAUSE YOU'VE READ THIS FAR - Here's a baby rhinoceros. http://bit.ly/9l4CUT

AMERICA, MEET THE DUDE TRYING TO UNSEAT NANCY PELOSI - Mother Jones' Suzy Khimm on a GOPer running in a district where there are more vegan, fair trade AutoZones than Republicans: "A self-styled 'Ron Paul Republican,' Dennis has wandered out into the no-man's land between the fringe right and far left, portraying Pelosi as a warmonger who propped up the big banks and failed to push hard enough for gay rights. At a Labor Day antiwar rally, Dennis stood shoulder-to-shoulder with his hero Paul, as well as Matt Gonzalez--the Green Party's 2008 vice presidential candidate--to call for a kumbaya moment. 'It's time to get beyond the left-and-right fight,' he told the crowd of supporters in downtown San Francisco. 'While we fight, Washington's power expands--and it always expands at the expense of our civil liberties!'" http://bit.ly/dCOiEK

While on the topic of longshot candidates, we're happy to report that America's unending economic and social malaise is now SOLVED. The Naked Cowboy has announced that he is running for president! TMZ, who is kind of our new favorite political news outlet, reports: "TMZ has learned the Naked Cowboy -- the dude who's roamed Times Square in his man-panties for years -- has thrown on a suit, chopped his locks and officially declared his candidacy for President of the United States of America. The Cowboy -- real name Robert John Burck -- tells us he has a 'very conservative policy' and gloats about his 'unapologetic commitment to our borders, our language and our culture.'" http://bit.ly/a7jxF9

JEREMY THE INTERN'S WEATHER REPORT - It may be not rainy now, but it's going to get heavier Tonight. Right after dinner, expect it to get heavy. Thunderstorms are possible if not probable, and don't be surprised if another tornado watch is in effect. Tomorrow: Heavy rains will taper out by early-to-mid mornings, and I don't want to alarm anyone, but you may see a big bright ball in the sky. Don't worry, though. It's called the Sun. Thanks, JB!

COMFORT FOOD

- The latest in hipster cool: A 1930s prototype three-wheeled vehicle. http://bit.ly/9MMrE3

- The Mad Men opening theme with a very slight, but very crucial, alteration. http://bit.ly/aXBLLP

- An amusing soft drink ad from England. http://bit.ly/byzPet

- A guy rocketed through Moscow on a motorcycle. Good thing he had a camera on his jacket. http://bit.ly/axUlzj

- Discomfort Food: This is where your Chicken McNuggets come from, America. http://bit.ly/cZNrYm

- Suicide is never the way. Especially if you're a penguin. Double especially if Werner Herzog is narrating it. http://bit.ly/9jAEgO

- This little girl really enjoys the intro to Star Trek. http://bit.ly/aPrdLc

TWITTERAMA

@ddayen: Why do people assume that the Tea Party coloring book is for kids?

@AdamSewer: If Hitler had asked about Anne Frank's resume, maybe Christine O'Donnell would have lied about it.

@brianbeutler Rahm will stop midway and run for mayor of Cleveland if Joe Lieberman thinks he may be trying to do too much.

@GGordonLiddy We assume Obama is bright, but has anyone seen his test scores?

THE TUBE

TONIGHT: Darrell Issa and Bob Woodward were on Hardball. John Thune and Bob Woodward are on the Situation Room. Sheldon Whitehouse is on The Ed Show. Pete DeFazio is on Maddow.

ON TAP

TOMORROW

5:00 pm - 8:00 pm: The National Portrait Gallery hosts Portraits After 5 featuring music, food, drink and special exhibitions [National Portrait Gallery, 801 F Street Northwest].

5:00 pm - 11:30 pm: If you find yourself in the Observatory area, head over to the grand opening of District 2 Bar & Grille [Disrict 2 Bar & Grille, 3238 Wisconsin Avenue NW].

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