NBC broadcast an interview with Kardashian mom Kris Jenner during a national moment of silence, proving that the terrorists won. Washington Republicans will never forget 9/11, but their voting record suggests they had a senior moment about the carcinogenic dust lodged in New Yorkers' respiratory systems. And John Boehner put a damper on the whole "we will rebuild" theme when he forecast America's debt rating demotion. This is HUFFPOST HILL for Tuesday, September 11th, 2012:
NEW 9/11 VICTIM DIES IN U.S. CUSTODY - Adnan Latif, a mentally incapacitated man wrongly swept up in Pakistan in 2001 and shipped to Guantanamo, has died, the Pentagon announced today. Latif was ordered released in 2010 -- because, you know, he was innocent -- but President Obama refused and kept him locked in the Cuban prison, where he had been repeatedly tortured. Latif's death comes after an intensive hunger strike and at least one suicide attempt. Did we mention he was innocent? Or, as the Pentagon put it: "Latif arrived at Guantanamo in January 2002 and was being detained consistent with the law of war...Joint Task Force Guantanamo continues to provide safe, humane, legal and transparent care and custody of detainees." His lawyer, David Remes, remembers Latif, who, dead at 32, spent more than a third of his life in Guantanamo: "Slightly built and gentle, he was a father and husband. He was a talented poet, and was devoutly religious. He never posed a threat to the United States, and he never should have been brought to Guantanamo. The military has not stated a cause of death. However Adnan died, it was Guantanamo that killed him. His death is a reminder of the human cost of the government's Guantanamo detention policy and underscores the urgency of releasing detainees the government does not intend to prosecute."
SHUT UP, CONGRESS - Mike McAuliff: "The nation's leading Republicans marked the 11th anniversary of 9/11 with the words 'never forget' on their lips -- most of those using the occasion to promote legislation -- but nearly all of them opposed the bill passed two years ago to help the first responders who suffered health problems in the wake of the attacks. Prominent among them was vice presidential nominee, Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.), who voted twice against the James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act, and opposed the final passage of the bill...A spokesman for Ryan, Brendan Buck, insisted that Ryan supports 9/11 responders and pointed to the congressman's votes soon after the attacks in favor of aid for those suffering...Ryan also voted against previous versions of the measure, in September and June of 2010, and the version that ultimately passed the House did so without Ryan's vote. It passed the Senate unanimously after Republicans there extracted numerous concessions, including cutting the fund from $7.4 billion to $4.3 billion and making that money available for only six years." [HuffPost]
@michaelscherer: On 9/11, Romney was driving by the Pentagon, in his lobbyists car; in DC to lobby for more federal $ for Olympics.
TEA PARTY REPUBLICANS SHYING AWAY FROM TOWN HALLS - Remember in 2010, when practically every high school gymnasium, VFW hall and fairground in this country were little more than cauldrons of rage, frustration and spittle? Not so much this go 'round. Running tomorrow in Roll Call from Jonathan Strong: "Two years later, another August recess has passed, and there are signs that some of the GOP lawmakers swept into power from that election are scaling back the opportunities for voters to confront them at such events. For example, a handful of Republicans in vulnerable seats held no town hall-type events in August. Some haven't held an event billed as a 'town hall' for over six months. In many cases, lawmakers are opting for smaller, more low-key events that limit opportunities for political opponents to organize attendance."
WELFARE REFORM THROWDOWN - Associated Press/HuffPost: "Senior Republicans are pushing for votes in Congress to block the Obama administration from waiving some provisions of the nation's landmark welfare-to-work law. House Ways and Means Chairman Dave Camp of Michigan and Utah Sen. Orrin Hatch, ranking Republican on the Senate Finance Committee, said Tuesday they plan to use a special procedure to force a simple majority vote in the Senate, where most legislation requires 60 votes. A law called the Congressional Review Act allows lawmakers to overrule administration regulations, requiring only 51 votes in the Senate. The nonpartisan Government Accountability Office says the waiver plan is a regulation subject to the law, but the administration disputes that. 'It is unfortunate, but not surprising, that the Obama Administration has refused to withdraw their illegal 'guidance' undermining the critical welfare work requirements,' Camp said in a statement." [AP/HuffPost]
DAILY DELANEY DOWNER - Older workers laid off during the Great Recession and in its aftermath have had less luck than younger ones in finding new jobs, according to new Labor Department data. Of the 2.5 million workers aged between 55 and 64 who lost their jobs from 2009 through 2011, slightly less than half were working again in January 2012, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics' latest biennial survey of "displaced workers" -- people laid off because their plant or company closed, had too little work for them to do, or abolished their position or shift. Chris Kapeghian, of Vestal, N.Y. is 60 and has been out of work for 11 months. Despite a pension he splits with his ex-wife, Kapeghian said he is slowly draining his savings as he looks for work. He said he has sent out more than 200 resumes and received only a handful of "no thank you" responses -- the downside of having to apply for most jobs online. "I send them out in blizzards and unfortunately you get no response. You don't get feedback," Kapeghian said. "It starts to grind on you after awhile." Kapeghian retired from the U.S. Navy in 2004, then started doing technical training for defense contractors until they ran out of work last year. He said retail stores and sandwich shops have turned him down for being overqualified. "Regardless of how positive your outlook is, you have to accept after months and months that there is a reality that isn't as positive," he said. [HuffPost]
New poverty, income, and health insurance numbers come out tomorrow morning. Expect sadness.
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TAX CUT RETURN-ON-INVESTMENT - If Mitt Romney is elected and if the would-be president succeeds in enacting his tax agenda, the casino mogul [Editor's Note: You notice how there are never any bookstore moguls or furniture moguls?] could enjoy a $2 billion tax break, a sum that is roughly the size of Sierra Leone's GDP (we checked). Via an American Progress Action Fund report, here are several of the policies that would benefit Adelson: "Maintain the special low rates on dividends, potentially saving Adelson nearly $120 million on a single year's worth of dividends, more than enough to recoup his political donations... Provide a tax windfall of an estimated $1.2 billion to Adelson's company, Las Vegas Sands Corp., on untaxed profits from its Asian casinos, as well as a tax exemption forfuture overseas profits. Adelson's casinos already enjoy a special foreign tax exemp- tion from the Chinese administrative region of Macau, and Gov. Romney would make those foreign profits exempt from U.S. taxes as well." [HuffPost]
If there's one thing our nation learned on that horrific and traumatizing day, it's that WE NEED TO SEND JEANNEMARIE DAVIS TO RICHMOND TO HELP STOP OBAMACARE!!!!. Mike McAuliff: "A Republican candidate for Virginia lieutenant governor, Jeannemarie Davis, is invoking the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks to boost her campaign, using the grim anniversary as a peg to get people to tell her how President Barack Obama is hurting them. "As we remember those fallen Americans from 11 years ago, please encourage everyone to participate in our great Democracy," wrote Davis, director of the Virginia Liaison Office in Washington and wife of former Rep. Tom Davis (R-Va.), in a campaign email that was forwarded to The Huffington Post. She went on to suggest people could remember 9/11 and participate in democracy by helping her. Davis' 9/11 campaign offensive also included a batch of robo calls that started by using the name of GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney, who had suspended campaigning for the tragic anniversary. The Romney campaign wasn't pleased, and a GOP source said the campaign reached out to her to tell her to cut it out. "We have nothing to do with this -- our TV ads and voter contact have been suspended for 9/11," Romney spokeswoman Andrea Saul said." [HuffPost]
Never forget: "Most news networks, including ABC, CBS, Fox, MSNBC, and CNN, interrupted programming to honor the anniversary, breaking the quiet only with an extra solemn rendition of 'Taps.' Locally, WNBC cut into the Today show with 9/11 coverage, but nationally, NBC trucked right through with an interview of Keeping Up With the Kardashians mom Kris Jenner." [NY Mag]
BOEHNER: I HAVE NO CONFIDENCE IN ANYONE OR ANYTHING, INCLUDING MYSELF - The House speaker wrested himself away from an intense session of sighing and absent-mindedly flicking the Newton's cradle on his desk to deliver a bleak prognosis about our nation's credit. Jen Bendery: "House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) said he is 'not confident at all' that Congress can deal with the nation's debt problems and avoid a credit downgrade, an unsettling prospect that could mean a massive stock market plunge. During a Tuesday gathering with reporters, Boehner said the House of Representatives has already passed bills that address the nation's two most pressing fiscal matters -- sequestration and the Bush-era tax cuts -- and put the blame squarely on President Barack Obama for not doing more to foster bipartisan agreements on both fronts...Boehner's remarks come as Moody's Investor Services warned Tuesday that it likely would downgrade the nation's credit rating if Congress doesn't make progress in bringing down the national debt, currently at $16.1 trillion" [HuffPost]
Joe Biden's invitation to a firefighter, punctuated the way a DKE brother might invite you to a Golf Pros Tennis Hoes party. Elise Foley: "Vice President Joe Biden made a stop on Tuesday at a Shanksville, Pa., fire station, where he made a Biden-style invitation for a firefighter to have a beer with him at the White House -- 'no bullshit.' After an event in Western Pennsylvania to commemorate the crash of Flight 93 there on Sept. 11, Biden and Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar visited the firefighters to thank them for their service." Th-a-a-a-a-a-a-t's Joe! [cue Looney Tunes outro music]. [HuffPost]
FIRST-EVER SPANISH-LANGUAGE CONGRESSIONAL DEBATE HELD - That sound you hear is Steve King meeeeeelting!!! meeeeeeeellllltiiinnnnggg!!!!!!!. Janell Ross: "Republican incumbent Rep. Francisco 'Quico' Canseco will face his opponent, Democratic state Rep. Pete P. Gallego, in a debate late this month...The event, slated for Sept. 25 at a San Antonio college and set to air Sept. 29 on Univision Spanish-language station KWEX-TV, is believed to be the nation's first-ever Spanish language Congressional debate, co-sponsor AARP announced Monday. The debate points to the significant shifts and power struggles taking shape in the American electorate.
Paul Ryan is proceeding with his House reelection campaign and his first television ads will be aired tomorrow. This is not unprecedented (Joe Biden did the same thing with his Senate seat in 2008), but the scriptwriting must be terribly awkward for whichever firm is contracted to do the work ("If you do me the honor of allowing me to continue my work in Congress, the rest of America can just go kiss my ass"). [AP]
TODAY IN PHENOMENAL LEADS - "LYNCHBURG, Virginia (Reuters) - Sheryl Harris, a voluble 52-year-old with a Virginia drawl, voted twice for George W. Bush. Raised Baptist, she is convinced -- despite all evidence to the contrary -- that President Barack Obama, a practicing Christian, is Muslim. So in this year's presidential election, will she support Mitt Romney? Not a chance. 'Romney's going to help the upper class,' said Harris, who earns $28,000 a year as activities director of a Lynchburg senior center. 'He doesn't know everyday people, except maybe the person who cleans his house.' She'll vote for Obama, she said: "At least he wasn't brought up filthy rich.'" [Reuters]
Oh memes, you give so much yet ask for so little in return: "Rabbi Shmuley Boteach, the Republican congressional nominee running against Rep. Bill Pascrell (D-N.J.), has released a new campaign ad in the vein of Clint Eastwood's debate against an empty chair at the Republican National Convention. Boteach carries around -- and talks to -- and empty suit meant to symbolize Pascrell in the new web video, which was released Monday." [HuffPost's John Celock]
BECAUSE YOU'VE READ THIS FAR - Complacent dog is vacuumed by its owner.
CREAM SODA-GATE - Examiner: "It happened again on Monday when Jen Talaber, spokesperson for Rep. Phil Gingrey, R-Ga., mistakenly tweeted this from Gingrey's official Twitter account: 'Cream soda is life. The rest is details.' Talaber also tweeted: 'Well this day just turned around for me. WOOOHHOOOOOO.' Both tweets were deleted." [Examiner]
- It's not exactly the Beatles on Ed Sullivan but Psy of "Gangnam Style" fame visited the "Ellen" show and taught everyone how to do the dance from his now viral video. [http://bit.ly/UHjeXx]
- Just a cat sitting around, watching the world go by. [http://bit.ly/Qb3BqX]
- A collection of memorable movie scenes that incorporate Bob Dylan (whose new album was released today) songs. [http://bit.ly/Pn0agH]
- A recently uncovered Sex Pistol's demo, "Belsen Was A Gas," has been released. Here it is. [http://bit.ly/PmXtvP]
- Idaho weatherman raps about his news team but, more importantly, does so through the creative use of four iPhones. [http://bit.ly/Qb283P]
- Scenes from a theater group's musical-ization of Jurassic Park. [http://bit.ly/TGdqzy]
- A video mashup showing the origin of a number of different memes, also known as the video featuring both Bill O'Reilly and Admiral Ackbar. [http://bit.ly/Ocxcfj]
@timkmak: Breakup line actually used recently by a journo friend of mine, to some poor chap: "It's not you, it's the election."
@Max_Fisher: "Thank you for your inquiry. I can't reject it, so here's my rejection of a vaguely similar question you didn't ask." -- Every govt spox
@KagroX: They hate us for our freedoms. So let's really troll them with a tax cut for the rich.
Most fundraising activity has been suspended in light of 9/11. Remember, we're all in this together.
12:00 pm: Tom Latham hosts a campaign function for his "For America's Republican Majority" -- or FARM (get it!) -- PAC. Get that green. [Social Reform Kitchen and Bar, 401 9th Street NW]
12:00 pm: Amy Klobuchar, who was making suspiciously 2016-y moves at the Charlotte convention, puts in some time for her Senate reelection. [Bistro Bis 15 E Street NW]
12:30 pm - 2:00 pm: Sheldon Whitehouse places himself in the pocket of Big Cancer (or Big Anti-Cancer?) with a fundraiser hosted by The US Oncology Network PAC. Here's hoping Whitehouse can cure cancer soon. [Bistro Bis, 15 E Street NW]
6:00 pm: On the heels of the president and DNC's huge fundraising haul, Debbie Wasserman Schultz heads up to Maryland for a fundraiser benefiting President Obama's reelection campaign. [Cabin John, MD]
7:00 pm: Because North Dakota is little more than a collection of highways leading to and from places that aren't North Dakota, it's appropriate that Rick Berg's "Young Professional Reception" is being held at the AMerican Trucking Association. [American Trucking Association, 430 First Street SE]
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