The Iraq war started a decade ago, which Columbia Records is marking with a special 10th anniversary edition featuring unreleased lies by Curveball and an accompanying booklet with never-before-seen Abu Ghraib photos. Tim Geithner is selling his house, which is surprisingly closer to Main Street than Wall Street. And John Boehner won't become temporary president when President Obama and Vice President Biden are out of the country. However if smoking is suddenly allowed in federal buildings and a bunch of lawn jockeys show up around the Ellipse, it means we're wrong about that. This is HUFFPOST HILL for Tuesday, March 19th, 2013:
PORTMAN MEETS WITH GOP CONFERENCE ABOUT GAY MARRIAGE - Portman says his colleagues are very supportive of his son, who revealed in 2011 that -- per the Republican platform -- he will burn in hellfire for all eternity. Who says comity is dead in Congress? His colleagues, Portman told reporters in the Capitol following the meeting, were personally supportive. 'I thanked them, because I've had a number of people come up and express personal support for me and my family. And that's what I talked about. I circulated the op-ed so everybody saw it in my words,' he said. Asked whether the GOP's newly announced priority of reaching out to minority groups should include outreach to gays and lesbians, Portman demurred at first. 'Well, look, the party's got to decide that. I made this decision on a personal basis,' he said. Did any of his colleagues appear to be rethinking the issue themselves? 'I don't think so,' said Portman. [HuffPost]
Harry Reid is very frustrated by GOP objections to moving forward on a budget. "We're doing nothing here. We're standing around looking at each other, and not even that, because nobody is here on the floor," he said on the Senate floor today. "It is things like that that will cause the Senate to have to reassess all these rules because right now they accomplish so little." Too bad there's no way the majority can reform the rules. Real shame, that.
Worst birthday, Orrin Hatch edition: "I hate birthdays. When I was a kid we were so poor the neighbor kids would have birthday parties and I never did, so I just blotted it out of my mind and it's carried over to today. I hate birthdays." Happy (early) 79th birthday, senator! Maybe the Boehner Birthday Song can cheer you up. (Quote via Lucia Graves)
AMERICA'S MISADVENTURE IN IRAQ IS NOW OLD ENOUGH TO THINK SESAME STREET IS FOR LITTLE KIDS - Michael Calderone takes a look at whether the media has learned any lessons from when it totally dropped the ball ten years ago: "Several journalists who rightly scrutinized the Bush administration’s claims a decade ago told The Huffington Post in interviews that some of the same potential pitfalls exist when covering current issues surrounding war, drones and military intervention. Reporters, they said, need to remain vigilant when speaking with government sources -- especially when doing so under the condition of anonymity... National security reporter Jonathan Landay, who along with his colleagues at McClatchy, then the Knight Ridder newspaper chain, are are often credited with some of the strongest pre-war reporting, said he's concerned about the impact on investigative journalism as the newspaper industry contracts. He said similar traps remain for reporters covering national security, which he considers the 'toughest beat in town' because of its secrecy." [HuffPost]
The White House sends word: "NOMINATIONS SENT TO THE SENATE: Thomas Edward Perez, of Maryland, to be Secretary of Labor, vice Hilda L. Solis, resigned."
PARANOID SELF-LOATHING GOP LOBBYIST GOES TIPPER GORE - HuffPost Hill's Paranoid Self-Loathing GOP Lobbyist, who refuses to install a V-chip in his television because he's afraid it'll activate the chip the CIA implanted in his skull, is disgusted by Dianne Feinstein. "Unsolicited Advice to Hollywood’s senior senator," PSLGOPL writes. "Dianne Feinstein should 'sweeten' her gun bill by closing the tax loopholes liberal and rich Hollywood Democratic donors enjoy and insist on studying the effects of kids being forced to watch violent movie trailers during NCAA basketball games on Saturday afternoons. Senator Feinstein It’s time for a Sista Souljah moment with the party’s donor base." Thanks, PSLGOPL!
It's a long story, but we wound up talking about weed with Michele Bachmann today. "I will admit that I've never smoked pot," she said. "Cigars I've smoked, but not pot."
DAILY DELANEY DOWNER - Tom Harkin had a hearing today on people taking money out of their 401(k) retirement plans before retirement. "All too often, people cash out their retirement accounts well in advance of their golden years," Harkin said in his opening remarks. "The whole reason we encourage employers to offer 401(k) plans in the first place is to prepare people for retirement. We know that when people run out of money when they get old, they see their living standard decline, they become a burden on their families, and they lean more and more on the social safety net, squeezing government at all levels." Yep. Thanks, 401(k) plans! [Senate.gov]
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ASSAULT WEAPONS BAN STRIPPED FROM SENATE GUN BILL - Hopefully this will be revisited in 20 years when someone can laser print a trigger-activated thermonuclear device. CBS News: "Citing the minimal support for legislation that would ban assault weapons, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., said today that he would leave the proposal out of the gun violence bill he'll bring to the Senate floor. Instead, the assault weapons ban will be offered as an amendment to the bill, along with several other less popular ideas... Reid explained that he'll need to find a bill to bring to the Senate floor that has at least 60 votes of support -- enough to bypass a Republican filibuster and start debate. Once debate has started on that bill, the Senate can vote on amendments, such as the assault weapons ban authored by Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif... 'Right now her amendment, using the most optimistic numbers, has less than 40 votes. That's not 60,' [Reid] said. It's more likely, Reid added, that he would bring to the floor one of the background check proposals currently in the works." [CBS News]
@dcbigjohn: Sen Portman randomly clutching a 6er of high life pic.twitter.com/AX0AUB1MSo
RAND PAUL SUPPORTS
PATHWAY TO CITIZENSHIP NOT DEPORTING 12 MILLION PEOPLE - This being Rand Paul, undocumented immigrants will probably travel down the pathway on the John Galt Line. Choo! Choo! WaPo: "Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) said Tuesday afternoon that he has not, in fact, endorsed a faster path to citizenship, despite many reports Tuesday morning that he had. Many outlets, including the Washington Post, had reported Paul would back or did back a path to citizenship in his speech to the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce. The reports date back to Monday evening, when the Associated Press obtained an advance copy of Paul’s remarks. Paul clarified in an interview with Post Politics that he is not calling for an expedited path to citizenship, but that he would make it so people don’t have to return to their home counties before applying... In addition to not requiring illegal immigrants to return to their home countries to apply for citizenship, Paul also said on a later conference call that he’s not a 'stickler' for making them pay penalties... Even though Paul would clearly make it easier to become a citizen, he said he would rather not label it a 'path to citizenship,' because using that phrases means everyone “closes their ears” to the rest of the argument." [HuffPost]
GOP 'AUTOPSY' REPORT SKIRTS SUPER PAC RULES - HuffPost: "Spend less on negative advertising and spend more on ground game. Target young voters, especially young women. Build a national database that includes email and cell phone numbers. And, above all else, learn to work together.These were all suggestions in the...100-page Growth and Opportunity Project report... Except these were not recommendations for the RNC, but recommendations by the RNC for the network of independent political groups that have exploded in size and number since the Supreme Court's 2010 Citizens United ruling opened the door for unlimited independent spending. The litany of suggestions are notable in this very public report because election law forbids the GOP from certain crucial types of private coordination with these groups. By publicly airing its recommendations, the RNC can legally pass on suggestions to groups from Karl Rove's Crossroads to the Koch brothers' Americans for Prosperity and even the insurgent Club for Growth -- suggestions that include spending and tactical advice that would otherwise be against the law if shared privately." [HuffPost]
Tim Geithner's four-bedroom, two-and-a-half bath Bethesda home is on the market. There is a slideshow.
MICHELE BACHMANN RETREATS FROM NATIONAL SPOTLIGHT - Roll Call: "Once one of the tea party’s loudest voices on Capitol Hill, Minnesota Rep.Michele Bachmann now shuns the national spotlight for Saturday morning coffees in St. Cloud. These are the political consequences when a former presidential candidate wins re-election by a single point. Fourteen months after dropping out of the White House race, Bachmann is attempting to recast her national profile into a local one. After a humbling year, the former state senator appears to be fortifying the roots that helped launch her quick ascent into the national consciousness and ultimately made her a contender for the GOP’s presidential nomination... Once happy to engage reporters in the speaker’s lobby, Bachmann recently declined interview requests from multiple Capitol Hill publications, including CQ Roll Call, and she slipped out of view of reporters after both of her CPAC speeches. Instead, Bachmann participated in a lengthy profile that ran last week in the Minneapolis Star Tribune and focused on her work in Congress...The rehabilitation process kicked off quickly after Bachmann’s surprisingly small victory. Her 2012 opponent, hotelier Jim Graves, is likely to announce in the first week of April whether he will challenge Bachmann again..." [Roll Call]
This image rehab sure explains Bachmann's brazen lying in her CPAC speech.
Happy birthday to HuffPost Hill's mom, Susan. You don't look a day over three Iraq War decennials, mom.
JOHN BOEHNER IS NOT PRESIDENT, IN CASE YOU WERE WORRIED ABOUT THAT - WaPo: "As President Obama departs for Israel Tuesday night and Vice President Biden returns from the inaugural Mass of Pope Francis in Rome, there will be about a 20-minute window when the nation’s two highest-ranking elected officials will not be on U.S. soil. Luckily, there is no reason to panic. This brief gap does not trigger a succession crisis, as White House officials are quick to point out. 'The fact remains that President Obama is President of the United States everywhere he goes. Vice President Biden is Vice President of the United States everywhere that he goes,' White House spokesman Josh Earnest explained to reporters Friday." [WaPo]
BECAUSE YOU'VE READ THIS FAR - Puppy learns to catch.
LOUIE GOHMERT DOES NOT THINK HIGHLY OF OUR BRAINS - Luke Johnson" "Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-Texas)... took aim at the 'simpletons' of The Huffington Post on Tuesday during a House Judiciary Committee hearing on email privacy. 'Just so that the simpletons that sometimes write for Huffington Post understand, I don't want the government having all that information,' said Gohmert. 'With a point of personal privilege, my son writes for The Huffington Post,' replied Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner (R-Wis.) to laughs. Frank Sensenbrenner, a fellow at Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies, has blogged for the site on Italian politics and the Vatican. Gohmert tried to recover. 'Well then, maybe he is not one of the simpletons I was referring to,' he said. 'He does have a Ph.D.,' continued Sensenbrenner." Thanks, congressman! [HuffPost]
- A March Madness bracket with each school's annual tuition included. You go, Bucknell. [http://bit.ly/108OB1j]
- Lower your IQ with a pill. Ignorance is bliss. [http://bit.ly/ZrYpC7]
- A slo-mo walk down one of Jerusalem's major streets... in reverse. [http://chzb.gr/YkDbqr]
- Not very comforting: A giant flow-chart depcting the way people died in the 20th Century. [http://bit.ly/X62IjN]
- Jonah Hill sounds exactly like Skrillex. [http://bit.ly/10aFbSL]
- "Urban Wingsuit Flying in Rio De Janeiro" isn't the cold open of the next James Bond movie, but is still incredibly cool. [http://chzb.gr/ZECR4z]
- 13.7 billions years of history in 18 minutes. [http://bit.ly/Zq5HpU]
@brianbeutler: <-- recipient of fundraising email from famous politician unseriously requesting my company at dinner.
@newtgingrich: RT if you'd ride in a driverless car. I would. #newtu
@LOLGOP: You can't email George W. Bush a shoe.
5:30 pm: The Republican Party is doing its utmost to rebrand itself, which is exactly why Darrell Issa, James Jordan Tom Price , John Kline and Frank Lucas attend a fundraiser for history's greatest poster child, Scott Desjarlais. [The Capitol Hill Club, 300 First Street SE]
5:30 pm: For $1,000 you could buy an on-sale Armani suit and get yourself some Italian style or you could attend Bill Pascrell's "Italian Style" fundraiser. If you're a lobbyist, go for the latter; if you're not one, go for the former. [Erickson & Co. Townhouse, 38 Ivy Street SE]
6:00 pm: A whole boatload of lobbyists, including ones representing BNSF, anti-labor interests and Second Amendment advocates raise their glasses to Rand Paul, who'll hopefully keep his remarks to under 12 hours. [UPS Townhouse, 421 New Jersey Ave SE]
5:30 pm: Lisa Murkowski continues to insure herself against another M-U-R-K-O-W-S-K-I situation with a fundraiser featuring appearances by Lamar Alexander and John Hoeven. [Rosa Mexicano - 575 7th Street NW]
6:00 pm: The editor-in-chief of Elle and president of Gucci America host a dinner lauding ten of Washington's leading lady luminaries. Jill Biden, Kirsten Gillibrand, Alyssa Mastromonaco and Susan McCue are among those being honored. [Villa Firenze, 2800 Albermale Street NW]
6:30 pm: Shelley Moore Capito fills her Senate campaign coffers with an assist from her (likely future co-worker) Rob Portman. [Monocle Restaurant. 107 D Street NE]
6:30 pm: John Thune passes the hat for his Heartland Values PAC. The event will be held at Wolfgang Puck's The Source, Washington's most flyover state-y dining establishment. [575 Pennsylvania Ave NW]
7:00 pm: The Depository Trust and Clearing Corporation hosts a dinner for Ed Perlmutter and, man, take it from us: The bros at the Depository Trust and Clearing Corporation know how to get down. [Cava Mezze, 527 8th Street SE]
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