POLITICS
01/28/2011 06:26 pm ET Updated May 25, 2011

HUFFPOST HILL - Rise Up Like An Egyptian

Happy "Earned-Income Tax Credit Awareness Day"! ‬The GDP grew 3.2 percent last quarter and will no doubt exceed that number next time thanks to all the Egyptian tear gas and Obama birth certificate tickets we'll be producing. Dennis Kucinich extended the de-pitted olive branch of peace to the Capitol food services provider he sued. And we tried in vain to find the lyrics to the Bangles' next single, "Rise Up En Masse And Demand Basic Human Rights Like An Egyptian." This is HUFFPOST HILL for Friday, January 28th, 2011:

MUBARAK DISSOLVING GOVERNMENT, NOT STEPPING DOWN - After a day of civil unrest in which demonstrators largely ignored a state-issued curfew and MSNBC bravely cut away from its coverage of a maniacal Turkey, Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak addressed the nation and announced that he will not step down but will instead dissolve the government tomorrow. "My first responsibility is homeland security [and I] cannot allow this fear to grip our people," he said. "I have requested the government to step down today and I will appoint a new government tomorrow. I will not be lax or tolerant. I will take all the steps to safeguard the security of our people." Mubarak's incoherent speech will likely squash his White House ambitions, forcing him to return to the Louisiana governor's mansion. [HuffPost]

EGYPT HAS DEEP TIES WITH K STREET - As any ecosystem-destroying multi-national corporation or African despot or monolithic arms manufacturer or Melanie Sloan can tell you, you ain't nothing if you ain't got a "government relations professional" in your corner. And the Egyptian government, with all those tear gas canisters we gave them, sure ain't nothing. As Chris Good astutely notes, the government currently driving armored trucks through crowds of unarmed civilians has signed contracts with a number of leading D.C.-based lobbyists, including the namesakes behind the Podesta Group, the Livingston Group and the Moffett Group. The government's contract with the three state that they would "provide assistance and advice, as requested, to the Embassy in the task of securing and further enhancing the interests of Egypt in the United States in the political, economic, military and other fields." We hear Voldemort is quite taken with the selection of sparkling and mineral waters in Akin Gump's waiting room. [The Atlantic]

Tony Podesta, normally quick with a rejection, did not respond to an interview request from HuffPost. Next time we'll offer to photograph him with his art collection. http://wapo.st/eNK6vu

@richardengelnbc: Demonstrators angry that labels on teargas canisters say "made in USA"

(HuffPost Hill was tear-gassed in Bolivia way back when and the canisters had been made in Wisconsin.)

Gibbs: "We're monitoring a very fluid situation...[administration considering] how that could very possibly impact our assistance to Egypt."

Senate Foreign Relations Chair John Kerry: "In the case of Egypt, President Mubarak has the opportunity to quell the unrest by guaranteeing that a free and open democratic process will be in place when the time comes to choose the country's next leader later this year."

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in a statement to reporters: "We call on the Egyptian government to do everything in its power to restrain security forces...At the same time, protesters should also refrain from violence and express themselves peacefully."

While Cairo burns, the people who rule the world are gathering in Davos and the ones who want to bring it down are outside Palm Springs.

DENNIS KUCINICH SETTLES WITH CAPITOL FOOD SERVICES PROVIDER OVER NEFARIOUS OLIVE PIT - Dennis Kucinich has settled with a Capitol food services vendor for an unspecified amount, two days after news emerged that America's most Courageous Congressman filed suit over an olive pit that found its way into his sandwich wrap. "It seems that some are more interested in discussing my personal dental issues," Kucinich wrote in a statement today. "Given the degree of public interest you should know some details." He went on to say that "This injury required nearly two years, three dental surgeries, and a substantial amount of money to rectify." Yikes! [The website of Dennis Kucinich, America's Most Courageous Congressman]

INSIDE KENT CONRAD'S DECISION TO RESIGN - Manu Raju reported a bit ago that Conrad was thinking of stepping down after 26 years in the Senate. This week, Conrad told Raju and HuffPost Hill that he had no plans to step down until reading Raju's story. But, he figured, if he didn't quite, Raju would be deep-sixed by his Rosslyn overlords for shoddy reporting. "I sacrificed my political career for Manu's reporting career," Conrad said. "This man would have been fired." (He was kidding. We think.) [MANU]

PARANOID SELF-LOATHING GOP LOBBYIST'S DARKEST FEARS CONFIRMED - Our favorite Paranoid Self-Loathing GOP Lobbyist is beside himself over the appointment of former TIME guy Jay Carney to be the new White House press guy. And by beside himself, we mean he is having an out-of-body experience that causes him to refer to himself in the third-person. "I'm pretty sure the PSLGOPL thinks Jay Carney doing this job confirms my deepest fears about journalists." Thanks, PSLGOPL! We have requested the media to step down today. And we will designate a new media tomorrow to shoulder new duties.

Senate new comers persuaded a few grey-beards to give up some committee spots. [HuffPost]

DAILY DELANEY DOWNER - Kate Dimon of Lebanon, Ore. said she's had it with long-term unemployment in the USA. "We have to pack it up and go. I'd like to leave the country. I'm done. I'm finished. It's over," Dimon, 58, told HuffPost. She said she lost her job as a construction project manager two years ago, making her one of 1.4 million people out of work 99 weeks or longer, and that her husband, a computer scientist, has been out of work for one year. "It stopped being good. It's just not good anymore."

Don't be bashful: Send tips/stories/photos/events/fundraisers/job movement/juicy miscellanea to huffposthill@huffingtonpost.com. Follow us on Twitter - @HuffPostHill

Courtney Rowe is heading from Senate Ag to the Ag Department

FRESHMEN REP UNDER FIRE FOR SPENDING CAMPAIGN CASH - "Freshman U.S. Rep. David Rivera, who is facing a state criminal investigation of his finances, paid himself more than $60,000 in unexplained campaign reimbursements over the eight years he served in the state legislature, an Associated Press examination of his records shows. Serving as his own campaign treasurer, the Miami Republican didn't report any details for more than a third of the roughly $160,000 in expenses for which he reimbursed himself, other than simply calling them campaign expenses, according to the records. The AP review also shows his total reimbursements far exceeded those claimed by 12 other top Florida state legislators who served with him. Those lawmakers -- both Democrats and Republicans -- usually gave at least some explanation of how the money had been spent, as required by Florida law. Rivera denies wrongdoing." [AP]

This is gonna be a fun Congress, if you're into this sorta thing.

Media Matters' Chris Harris e-mails: "While it won't happen officially for a few weeks (at least), it was announced today that I'll eventually be leaving my position as Communications Director at Media Matters to join American Bridge, a new PAC set up by David Brock for the 2012 cycle."

One of our readers spied Mark Kirk and William Daley noshing at PJ Clarke's yesterday. They were sharing an apple cobbler. *

SANTORUM HIRING STAFF IN IOWA - And unless they're skilled butter sculpture-carvers for the state fair, it probably means he's thinking about running for president [Editor's Note: Rick Santorum would like to remind you that black people can't make jokes about the Iowa State Fair]. CNN is reporting that the former Pennsylvania senator has hired seasoned political hands Nick Ryan and Jill Latham of Concordia Group, L.L.C, a Des Moines-based public affairs and political strategy group. "I am extremely pleased to have Nick and Jill on board to assist with my PAC's efforts in Iowa and across the country. They have a proven track record of building grassroots support for candidates and conservative causes," says Santorum, in a news release. It should also be noted that Santorum thinks "Hawkeye" is something gay people do in bed. [CNN]

Who's Rick Santorum again? Maybe we'll Google him real quick...

CNN really owning the 2012 beat today: "Mitt Romney has scheduled a conference call for next week with some of the biggest donors from his last presidential run, CNN has learned, the latest in a series of under-the-radar moves by the former Massachusetts governor as he sets the table for a second White House bid in 2012."

* We actually don't know if they were sharing an apple cobbler, but the image of Mark Kirk and William Daley sharing an apple cobbler makes us laugh. Anyway...SPOTTED.

GDP GROWS 3.2 PERCENT IN 4TH QUARTER OF 2010 - Maybe it was Angry Birds, or whiskey in a can, or all that black market Four Loko you and your friends paid $300 dollars for. Whatever the case, something(s) got you people to finally start spending money late last year. The Bureau of Economic Analysis indicated that the economy grew by 3.2 percent in the final three months of 2010. Still, the unemployment rate remains above nine percent and long-term unemployment still affects millions. Joe Biden, talking to the unemployed like they've fallen in a well: "A significant portion of the companies out there... are saying now that they're gonna begin to hire this year...The message is hang in there, things are coming back." [HuffPost's Laura Bassett]

HATCH GETS BIG 2012 PRIMARY BOOST - As things stand now, the Tea Party Express will not target Utah Senator and Xanax "after" model Orrin Hatch in 2012, the National Review reports. Tea Party Express Chief Strategist Sal Russo explained that Hatch has a long history of standing up for principles that the group espouses. "In 1976, when I was scouring the country trying to find people to stand up for Ronald Reagan, there were not very many in the Republican party that would, especially with the president being [G]erry Ford. Orrin Hatch, however, stood up and was our state chairman," he said. "He is somebody who has been willing to stand up for a long time." [National Review]

Jason Linkins on Hawaii charging people money to see President Obama's birth certificate
BACHMANN WAS ACTUALLY LOOKING STRAIGHT....INTO THE FUTURE!!!! - You gotta ask yourself, if this is how they handle production for their political allies, what on Earth would a TeaPartyHD-produced Democratic speech look like? [Star Tribune]

BECAUSE YOU'VE READ THIS FAR- Behold, the most meta 30-second computer game in history. [http://bit.ly/3B3BSw]

GEORGE W. BUSH: I'M DONE WITH POLITICS - In an interview set to run on C-SPAN, the former leader of the free world says he is completely uninterested in engaging in politics, confirming what we all started suspecting around 1995. "I don't want to go out and campaign for candidates," the 43rd president said at a Southern Methodist University forum this past Monday. "I don't want to be viewed as a perpetual money-raiser. I don't want to be on these talk shows giving my opinion, second-guessing the current president. I think it's bad for the country, frankly, to have a former president criticize his successor. It's tough enough to president as it is without a former president undermining the current president." [HuffPost's Sam Stein]

A reader who works in the U.S. Capitol complex is not happy: "The Senate Rules Committee was upset with management of the CVC on Thursday due to their delayed opening. The government was on a delayed opening due to treacherous road conditions. The evening before the CVC stayed open, rather than following the rest of the government and dismissing staff early. This undoubtedly contributed to the commuting nightmare on Wednesday night. Some CVC had barely gotten home from their marathon commute Wednesday before having to figure out how to get back to the CVC. The safety of Federal employees is less important than the CVC office space being available to the Committee, then of course there are the myriad of phone calls and Congressional correspondence that staff are required to respond to." Thanks, unhappy reader who works in the U.S. Capitol complex!

JEREMY'S WEATHER REPORT - Tonight: Bitter colds, as the jet stream will shift north in the evening. Tomorrow: Pleasant! Some clouds, but the temperatures should be manageable! Thanks, JB!

BRAD THE INTERN HAIKUS THE NEWS

Win the re-elect
and I guess we can forgive
two year message fail.

Thanks, Brad!

COMFORT FOOD

- Turkey attacks U.S. Postal Service truck. 2012, people. 2012. [http://bit.ly/enXd6h]

- Remember that map we posted that listed each state by what it's worst at? This one lists each state by what it's best at. God bless you, Arkansas. You and your bromine production. [http://bit.ly/fUNOTo]

- Someone suing P. Diddy claims he and Rodney King toppled the Twin Towers. [http://bit.ly/gZ2pKM]

- Meet the cat who earned multiple advanced degrees. Whatever. Wake us when a gerbil gets tenure. [http://bit.ly/e53p83]

- If you're going to steal ice cream from a child, do it like a champ. Allow Louis C.K. to demonstrate. [http://bit.ly/uIAJw]

- Disparaging Ramen. [http://bit.ly/hSKDOK]

- In Mumbai, people clean up their homes before their maids show up. Americans can barely clean their homes before their parents show up, much less people whose job it is to do so. We're screwed. [http://bit.ly/idcI4l]

TWITTERAMA

@HosniMobarak I'll be on TV soon to announce the new changes. First thing will be the replacement of the current people of #Egypt.

@TheOnion: U.S. Press Sec'y Gibbs: I'm Sorry, Which US-Supported Brutal Dictatorship Are We Referring To?

@ddayen: Confused Las Vegas residents begin riot at Luxor casino over unemployment and housing, NV officials forced to say "they have a point" #egypt

THE TUBE

SUNDAY SHOWS

Meet the Press: Mitch McConnell, Tim Kaine, Mike Murphy, Katty Kay, Harold Ford Jr., Chuck Todd.

Face the Nation: William Daley.

This Week: Newt Gingrich, Ron Reagan, Michael Reagan, Patti Davis, David Stockman, Sam Donaldson, Cokie Roberts, George Will.

State of the Union: John McCain, Alan Simpson, Alice Rivlin.

ON TAP

TONIGHT

8:00 pm: Dr. Dog, the group leading the The Band revival charge, performs at 9:30 Club. There's no prize for dressing up like you work in a Burlington vegetable co-op except the prize of acceptance [9:30 Club. 815 V Street NW].

9:30 pm: The Upright Citiens Brigade's road troupe takes its shtick to the Shakespeare & Co. stage [Shakespeare Theatre Company: Sidney Harman Hall, 610 F Street NW].

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