Hillary Clinton will set out on a farewell tour this week, but like most people who go on farewell tours, she'll unretire in a few years and charge people a ton for access and merchandise. Scttot bRwon got reaLLY druunk on fRRiday nd tweetd at teh hateerz. And the Super Bowl bet between Maryland and California's senators involves too many crab cakes and bottles of Napa Valley wine and not enough overnights in Baltimore vacants and molly-fueled outings in the Castro. Glitter up, Senator Cardin. This is HUFFPOST HILL for Monday, January 28th, 2013:
BIPARTISAN HOUSE OVERSIGHT LEADERS TURN UP HEAT ON DOJ OVER AARON SWARTZ PROSECUTION - The Department of Justice has so far managed to avoid answering any questions about its prosecutorial conduct in the run-up to the suicide of Internet pioneer Aaron Swartz. Most of the pressure from Congress so far had been from the GOP, but now Darrell Issa, chairman of the House Oversight Committee, has the backing of Elijah Cummings, the ranking Democrat. The pair, in a letter provided to HuffPost Hill, have written Attorney General Eric Holder, requesting "a briefing about the decisions by federal prosecutors to bring criminal charges in 2011 and 2012 against Internet activist Aaron Swartz..." The two lawmakers list seven questions, that they want answered by February 4th, about DOJ's handling of the prosecution. Here are a few (the whole PDF is attached): "1. What factors influenced the decision to prosecute Mr. Swartz for the crimes alleged in the indictment, including the decisions regarding what crimes to charge and the filing of the superseding indictment? 2. Was Mr. Swartz' opposition to SOPA or his association with any advocacy groups among the factors considered? ... 4. How did the criminal charges, penalties sought, and plea offers in this case compare to those of other cases... 6. What factors influenced the Department's decisions regarding sentencing proposals?" [Full Letter]
GANG OF EIGHT UNVEILS IMMIGRATION PROPOSAL - Article I, Section. 3. "The Senate of the United States shall be composed of two Senators from each State, chosen by the Legislature thereof for six Years; and each Senator shall have one Vote; and from time to time shall form Gangs and receive plaudits from David Broder or his earthly equivalent." Reuters: "A bipartisan group of senators who have agreed on an immigration reform plan said on Monday they hope to move quickly with legislation giving 11 million illegal immigrants a chance to eventually become American citizens... In an attempt to build support among lawmakers, the Senate proposal would couple immigration reform with enhanced security efforts aimed at preventing illegal immigration and ensuring that those foreigners here temporarily return home when their visas expire... Under its proposal, undocumented immigrants would be allowed to register with the government, pay a fine, and then be given probationary legal status allowing them to work. Ultimately, they would have to 'go to the end of the line' and apply for permanent status." [Reuters]
Trouble on the horizon: "There was one bad sign for the bipartisan group: one of its original members, Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah), declined to sign on to the framework. He said in a statement that he remains 'greatly supportive of what the group aims to accomplish' and that he plans to keep working on the issue. But in the end, the pathway to citizenship policy chosen by the group seems to have been a deal-breaker." [HuffPost's Elise Foley]
@jonward11: transcript of entire @rushlimbaugh segment on immigration today is worth the read to see where he is headed... This 1 takes the cake. Rush: "Republicans have not said one thing to make anybody think they want Hispanics deported." bit.ly/1250Huk
PLEASE RUN FOR SENATE, STEVE KING - @jbendery: HOLY F: Steve King on Senate immigration proposal: "I agree with most of the language in the very broad guidelines."
JonWard and Upward: HuffPost's Jon Ward snuck himself into the Gang of Eight's ranks.
CONGRESS MAYBE READY TO DECLARE IT IS ANTI-VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN - Great job, Congress! Gang of Eight fever: Catch it! Jen Bendery on VAWA reauthorization: "The Senate has been moving with lightning speed to get VAWA up and out the door. Sens. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) and Mike Crapo (R-Idaho) introduced their bill last Tuesday and, a day later, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) announced that he was expediting it to the floor and bypassing the committee process. Leahy's bill is similar to what he introduced in the last Congress: it reauthorizes VAWA and adds new protections for members of the LGBT community and Native Americans. The biggest change from last year's version is it nixes a provision to increase the number of visas for immigrant victims of violence. Leahy took that provision out to keep House Republican leaders from accusing him of having a 'blue slip' problem; instead, he plans to attach it to immigration reform legislation." [HuffPost]
The House is voting on the final parts of the Sandy relief package, totalling $17 billion. It is expected to pass.
The White House Project is closing down. The nonpartisan organization was founded in 1998 with the goal of electing a female president, meaning it would be just as happy to have Virginia Foxx in the White house as it would Elizabeth Warren. Put another way, the White House Project is what would happen if EMILY's List and the Susan B. Anthony List got drunk, had a child, and -- after a prolonged custody battle and court mandate-- raised it to run No Labels. Goodbye, White House Project. [Atlantic]
Katha Pollitt eulogizes, in an email to HuffPost Hill: "The idea of spending precious feminist dollars on an apolitical leadership project always struck me as strange. Why help conservative women become better leaders? I'd like them to become worse leaders!"
Did you notice that what used to be called the Farm Bill is now listed in the Senate Democrats' top-ten-priorities list as the "Agriculture Jobs Bill"?
PARANOID SELF-LOATHING GOP LOBBYIST PRESENTS TOM HARKIN WITH HIS RETIREMENT ROLEX - HuffPost Hill's Paranoid Self-Loathing GOP Lobbyist, who invited Paul Bettany's character from "A Beautiful Mind" to his Super Bowl party but hasn't heard back, is not sure whether Tom Harkin, who announced this weekend that he won't seek reelection, will go down as one of the Senate's great legislators. "To me, Harkin's legacy is that he was the guy holding Howard Dean's coat when he lost his sh*t," PSLGOPL writes, asterisk in the original. "I understand that might not be Doris Kearns Goodwin's take." Thanks, PSLGOPL!
RIP, talk of raising the minimum wage in the Senate. We'll miss you.
In case you missed it, Scott Brown got loaded and tweeted a bunch Friday night. Whereas most drunk weekend tweeters broadcast their Big Buck Hunt scores or voice their frustration over being dumped by Tyler, Brown was going after trolls, tweeting "Bqhatevwr" -- presumably "whatever" -- at someone who criticized him. Political cartoonist and HuffPost Hill's resident speech expert Jeff Danziger helps us out with the pronunciation of "Bqhatevwr." Jeff: "How to pronounce Bqhatewvr? bakwativver (northern, central states) bahkivvah (southern tier) whatever (California)." And what about a Boston accent? "Southy - baklava Nahth Shah - billrica." Thanks, Jeff!
DAILY DELANEY DOWNER - Arkansas lawmakers are debating a proposal to make unemployed people pee in cups to prove they're not on drugs in order to qualify for benefits. State Sen. Jeremy Hutchinson (R-Little Rock) told HuffPost he sponsored the bill after hearing repeatedly from local businesses that job applicants were flunking drug tests. He wants the state to test people before they receive compensation and again after they've been on unemployment several weeks. "It's a random drug test, so it won't be testing everybody who walks through," Hutchinson said. "By accepting unemployment benefits they're agreeing to waive their rights and be subject to a random drug test." Despite having heard many anecdotes, hard data illustrating the problem are hard to come by, and Hutchinson said he had none. "It may not be a widespread problem, but I don't think there's any doubt there are people on unemployment who continue to use drugs," Hutchinson said. [With HuffPost's Chelsea Kiene]
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HILLARY: THE FAREWELL TOUR - The outgoing secretary of State will give exit interviews to the five major TV news outlets this week
and will finally be reunited with Garfunkel and, reports indicate, close out the show with a stirring rendition of "Sound of Silence." Politico: "Clinton spokesperson Phillipe Reines told POLITICO that Sec. Clinton was 'sitting with all five US networks before leaving office on Friday.' Those five networks are Fox News, CNN, NBC, ABC and CBS, which has already aired its interview with Sec. Clinton and President Obama. Fox News host Greta Van Susteren has landed her network's interview, which will air Tuesday night -- a rare get for Fox News, which is not the preferred outlet for Democrats and the Obama administration." [Politico]
A reader sends us an update on Grover Norquist, who was in Albany this weekend for the New York State Conservative Party's annual conference: "Spotted on US Airways Flight 3381 from Albany, NY to DC last night: Grover Norquist. A passenger seated nearby overheard the President of Americans for Tax Reform trying to order a vodka on the rocks with a splash of baby calf's blood...." [Grover]
The Miami Heat visited the White House today but this photo of LeBron James and Dwyane Wade by Bill Clinton's portrait was the best part.
KENTUCKY DEMS SCOURING KENTUCKY FOR A TODD AKIN DISCIPLE - Along with trying to nominate a someone with a pronounced jaw and moderate-to-conservative views on coal and guns to run in the general, Democratic activists in the Bluegrass State are ready to commit resources to the a tea party-approved Republican who thinks fetuses should be armed to protect themselves against abortion providers. Politico: "Big Democratic donors, local liberal activists and a left-leaning super PAC in Kentucky are telling tea partiers that they are poised to throw financial and organizational support behind a right-wing candidate should one try to defeat the powerful GOP leader in a 2014 primary fight. The idea: Soften up McConnell and make him vulnerable in a general election in Kentucky, where Democrats still maintain a voter registration advantage. Or better yet, in their eyes: Watch Kentucky GOP primary voters nominate the 2014 version of Todd Akin or Richard Mourdock, weak candidates who may actually lose." [Politico]
How's that talking head-y stuff workin' out for ya? Smart Politics: "Sarah Palin uttered more than 189,000 words over 150 appearances on various FOX broadcasts during her three years as an analyst at the network, or $15.85 per word.. Palin, who was paid a reported $1 million per year as a contributor to FOX since mid-January 2010 when FOX announced her signing, may not have made quite the splash her employers had hoped during this three-year period, and would, on occasion go weeks between appearances." [Smart Politics]
MIKE BLOOMBERG IS PREOCCUPIED BY BUTTS: REPORT - From New York Magazine's profile of Christine Quinn: "Later in the evening, the host interrupted me to point out that the mayor himself had just arrived. Did I want to meet him? Sure. My friend and I followed the host over, shook Bloomberg's hand, and my friend thanked him for his position on gun control. Without even acknowledging the comment, Bloomberg gestured toward a woman in a very tight floor-length gown standing nearby and said, 'Look at the ass on her.'" [NY Magazine]
Ron Johnson thinks Obamacare is going to put y'all back in chains: "Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) called Obamacare the 'greatest assault on freedom in our lifetime' in an interview with the Atlas Society. 'I think Americans are a little bit like frogs in that pot of water,' he said. 'The water's being brought up to boil.' He said he ran for Senate in 2010 because of President Barack Obama's health care law, which he called 'greatest assault on freedom in our lifetime.' He said that 'collectively' Americans were suffering from Stockholm Syndrome due to the loss of their freedoms." [HuffPost's Luke Johnson]
THE LOOOOVE SHACK IS A LITTLE OLD PLACE WHERE WE CAN GET TO WHOLE FOODS - Turns out that all those Clarendon law firm associates and their boyfriend/girlfriends who work at CEB have been unwitting civil rights activists. Will Wrigley: "Soon unmarried couples in Virginia may be able to legally do something that has been outlawed since the late 19th century -- live together. A state Senate panel voted unanimously Monday morning to advance the 'Love Shack' bill, legislation brought forward by State Sen. Adam Ebbin (D-Alexandria) to strike an old cohabitation law from the books. The current cohabitation law prohibits, 'any persons, not married to each other [to] lewdly and lasciviously associate and cohabit together.' As it currently stands, a violation of this law is a misdemeanor, and while no one has been prosecuted for violating the law in decades, Darlene K. Davis of Norfolk nearly lost her daycare license due to enforcement of the law in the early 1990s, according to another report by the The Washington Post." [HuffPost]
ZZZZZZzzzZZZzzzzzz "As for the bet, if the Ravens lose, Mikulski and Cardin will cough up Faidley's crab cakes, Berger cookies and Heavy Seas beer. The California senators, if the 49ers lose, will fork over Dungeness crab, Napa Valley wine, sourdough bread and a selection of Northern California cheeses." [CBS News]
BECAUSE YOU'VE READ THIS FAR - It doesn't matter where Beatboxing Goat is, Beatboxing Goat takes the rhythm with it everywhere.
BOY SCOUTS OF AMERICA DELOREANS ITSELF OUT OF THE 1950s - We'll see how many local affiliates have the flux capacitors necessary to do the same. NBC NEWS: "The Boy Scouts of America, one of the nation's largest private youth organizations, is actively considering an end to its decades-long policy of banning gay scouts or scout leaders, according to scouting officials and outsiders familiar with internal discussions.If adopted by the organization's board of directors, it would represent a profound change on an issue that has been highly controversial -- one that even went to the US Supreme Court. The new policy, now under discussion, would eliminate the ban from the national organization's rules, leaving local sponsoring organizations free to decide for themselves whether to admit gay scouts." [NBC News]
- "Downton Abbey," the 16-bit Super Nintendo version. There are gold coins, but they're stashed away in Lord Grantham's bureau. [http://bit.ly/11YZ3dK]
- Some tips on how to make your life less irritating. Quitting Twitter isn't one of the tips -- a glaring omission. [http://bit.ly/YbRBHz]
- Lonely Island turns YOLO into a schizophrenia anthem. [http://bit.ly/WlvyPp]
- Thanks to Reddit, we'll never forget about this 1994 clip of Bill Gates jumping over a chair. [http://bit.ly/1231XOB]
- Arianna appeared on Weekend Update, dahling. [http://huff.to/SVAElr]
- "30 Rock"'s Kenneth watches a video message he recorded for Future Kenneth. [http://bit.ly/Yc12XB]
@luke_johnson: Are any interviews "narrow-ranging"?
@marybschneider: I hate it when I call, ask to speak to press secretary, and person who answers asks: "Can I ask what this is about?" Always want to say no.
6:30 pm: Lest he gets primaried by a popular state representative who thinks the Mesopotamians herded triceratops, Mitch McConnell holds a fundraiser to try to ward off such a possibility.
8:30 am: The NRSC smells blood, and it isn't just in the super rare steaks their senior staffers keep ordering at P.J. Clarke's, either. NRSC Chairman Jerry Moran hosts a morning coffee reception with donors. [National Republican Senatorial Committee, 425 2nd Street NE]
6:30 pm: Roy Blunt welcomes donors to a $1,000-a-head fundraiser at Carmine's, whose portions are so freaking huge that this might be one of the most cost effective money-for-food fundraisers in town. [Carmine's, 425 7th Street NW]
7:00 pm: Face the Facts USA hosts a "role-play" scenario which isn't nearly as kinky as it sounds. The role-play will "[focus] on major economic issues. Panelists will play roles that reflect their real life experiences." Sorry. [GWU]
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