President Obama showed his support for sequestered federal employees by having the government pay him $380,000. The Nationals, like the city the team plays in, might soon be paid millions of dollars to promote the interests of a corporate benefactor. And the DCCC is asking Republican politicians whether they support Mark Sanford's campaign, which is basically an invitation to have the NRCC bug Nancy Pelosi about a possible Anthony Weiner bid for New York City public advocate. This is HUFFPOST HILL for Wednesday, April 3rd, 2013:
OBAMA TO GIVE BACK 5 PERCENT OF HIS SALARY, HIP HOP BARBECUES DOWNGRADED TO R&B POTLUCKS - He still probably has a lower effective tax rate than you. Times: "President Obama plans to return 5 percent of his salary to the Treasury in solidarity with federal workers who are going to be furloughed as part of the automatic budget cuts known as the sequester, an administration official said Wednesday. The voluntary move would be retroactive to March 1 and apply through the rest of the fiscal year, the official said. The White House came up with the 5 percent figure to approximate the level of spending cuts to nondefense federal agencies that took effect that day. 'The president has decided that to share in the sacrifice being made by public servants across the federal government that are affected by the sequester, he will contribute a portion of his salary back to the Treasury,' the official said...The president makes $400,000 a year, so a pay cut of 5 percent for the whole year amounts to $20,000; an administration official said. Mr. Obama would pay back that amount, compressing the total over the remaining months of the fiscal year." The president, btw, is a millionaire many times over. [NYT]
Malia's first car totally just got downgraded.
PRESIDENT TAKES GUN CONTROL PITCH TO AURORA'S BACKYARD - AP: "Ratcheting up pressure for Congress to limit access to guns, President Barack Obama said Wednesday that steps taken recently by Colorado to tighten its gun laws show 'there doesn’t have to be a conflict' between keeping citizens safe and protecting Second Amendment rights to gun ownership. 'I believe there’s no conflict between reconciling these realities,' Obama said in remarks prepared for delivery in Denver, where he planned to step up his call for background checks for all gun purchases and renew his demand that Congress at least vote on banning assault weapons and limiting access to large-capacity ammunition magazines... In danger of losing congressional momentum on the issue, Obama was appearing in Colorado -- which has a deep-rooted hunting tradition and where gun ownership is a cherished right -- to highlight state efforts to tighten gun laws. His intent is to use Colorado’s example and public pressure to prod reluctant members of Congress to act. Colorado recently expanded background checks for gun purchases and placed restrictions on ammunition magazines. Prospects for passage of similar measures by Congress appear bleak, largely because of concerns by conservative Republicans and moderate Democrats who come down more on the side of gun rights." [AP]
Meanwhile, on the immigration reform front: "Judiciary Chairman Robert W. Goodlatte on Wednesday floated the possibility that the House could eschew a comprehensive approach to overhauling the nation’s immigration system in favor of a step-by-step legislative strategy. Discussing the matter during an online telecast with Fox News’ Chris Stirewalt, the Virginia Republican appeared committed to most aspects of an immigration overhaul currently being discussed...Goodlatte, who runs the key committee of jurisdiction in the House for immigration legislation, said Republicans have 'definitely left [the] option open' to addressing those and other issues through multiple bills, rather than one comprehensive piece of legislation that includes every component." [Roll Call]
INTRODUCING OUR LATEST ANONYMOUS K STREETER: BURNED OUT, WENT DOWNTOWN - Burnt Out, Went Downtown -- or BOWD -- will honestly chronicle his transition from the Hill to lobbyland: the highs, the lows and the fabulous danish and coffee spreads. Hopefully, you kids will know what your future in those glass castles holds in store. His first dispatch from downtown, sent shortly after suffering a bout of Longworth Cafeteria separation anxiety: "Sent my blackberry a test email and was depressed to learn that it apparently still works." Thanks, BOWD!
Now on HuffPost, a cheery bit of news: "A cache of 2.5 million files has cracked open the secrets of more than 120,000 offshore companies and trusts, exposing hidden dealings of politicians, con men and the mega-rich the world over." [Center for Public Integrity]
DAILY DELANEY DOWNER - When Travis Stephens first heard the word "sequestration," he thought it was nothing to worry about. "They said the sequestration -- they talked about it a year ago and everybody said it will never get to that," Stephens said. "It's pretty frustrating. I don't fully understand it." Stephens said that he doesn't pay much attention to politics, but he does know the regular budgeting process has been dysfunctional during the years of Barack Obama's presidency and that sequestration is a symptom of that dysfunction... Now Stephens is out of a job... His last day on the job coincided with his fifth anniversary. He and his wife had dinner at a Texas Roadhouse and then drinks with friends and coworkers. "Overall it was a pretty good time. We saw a lot of coworkers who were not laid off and people who were laid off," he said, noting that the laid-off people were slightly less cheerful than the others. "All the people who were still employed were pretty cheery and trying to keep everyone in good spirits." [HuffPost]
Does somebody keep forwarding you this newsletter? Get your own copy. It's free! Sign up here. Send tips/stories/photos/events/fundraisers/job movement/juicy miscellanea to email@example.com. Follow us on Twitter - @HuffPostHill
THE AMBASSADOR PLENIPOTENTIARY TO EXXONMOBIL? - Zach Carter and Grim: "The Obama administration is pursuing a free trade agreement with the European Union that would grant corporations new political power to challenge an array of regulations both at home and abroad, according to an administration official involved in the negotiations. While the plan is still in its early stages, the effort alarms consumer and environmental advocates who worry it will lead to a rollback of important rules and put multinational companies on the same political plain as sovereign nations. If states are unable to pass and enforce laws within their borders, it could change the nature of their community and government, nonprofit groups emphasize. Exactly how broad these corporate political powers will be is undetermined, but one aspect of the agreement, known as 'investor-state dispute resolution,' would allow a company to appeal a regulatory rule or law to an international court, most likely the World Bank. The international body would be given authority to impose economic sanctions against any country that violated its verdict, including the United States." [HuffPost]
DCCC TO EXPLOIT SANFORD CAMPAIGN - Honestly, why every DCCC flier doesn't feature the name "Scott DesJarlais" and whomever it's targeting is a mystery. The Hill: "The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee is seeking to tie former South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford (R) to other House Republicans, pushing them to say whether or not they back the House nominee's campaign to return to Congress after his fall from grace. The DCCC sent out press releases asking if GOP leaders and vulnerable House Republicans back Sanford, who won his House primary Tuesday night and is facing Democrat Elizabeth Colbert Busch in a GOP-leaning district. The release points out criticism former presidential contender Mitt Romney and House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) leveled at Sanford after he admitted to having an extramarital affair in 2009, and asks if Republicans support his campaign." [The Hill]
From BuzzFeed: "The Politicans Who Supported DOMA Who Had Affairs"
GOP LOOKING TO RELAX OVERTIME LAWS - The "We're Coming For You Next, Emergency Doors That Are Required To Remain Unlocked Act," is picking up steam in the House. Dave Jamieson: "House Republicans are planning to introduce legislation that could loosen the nation's 75-year-old law governing overtime in the workplace, allowing employers and workers to choose taking compensatory time off rather than the traditional time-and-a-half pay. Cast by Republicans as a reform toward workplace flexibility, the proposal would amend the Fair Labor Standards Act, a bedrock labor law of the New Deal era, to ostensibly give workers more options in how to use their accrued overtime. Democrats and labor leaders, however, will likely oppose the measure on the grounds that it could weaken protections of the traditional 40-hour work week...The time-and-a-half clause of the Fair Labor Standards Act serves as the primary governor of the 40-hour work week. Employers usually don't push employees to work beyond 40 hours because it becomes expensive for the employer." [HuffPost]
VIRGINIA AG WANTS TO BAN GAY SEX - Pop quiz: How does a fledgling political party broaden its appeal in a swing state with a growing urban professional population? Try to make being gay -- like, literally being gay -- illegal? Gold star! Washington Blade: "Virginia Attorney General Kenneth Cuccinelli has filed a petition with the 4th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals in Richmond asking the full 15-judge court to reconsider a decision by a three-judge panel last month that overturned the state’s sodomy law. The three-judge panel ruled 2-1 on March 12 that a section of Virginia’s 'Crimes Against Nature' statute that outlaws sodomy between consenting adults, gay or straight, is unconstitutional based on a U.S. Supreme Court decision in 2003 known as Lawrence v. Texas...Caroline Gibson, a spokesperson for Cuccinelli, told the Blade in an email that Cuccinelli believes the dissenting judge on the three-judge panel was correct in stating the Lawrence decision applies only to sex between consenting adults in private and doesn’t apply to cases involving a minor." [Washington Blade]
Next thing you know, Republicans will want to send a bunch of Hispanic people back to their country of origin! Ha ha!
BECAUSE IT'S A SLOW NEWS WEEK, HERE'S A 2016 POLL - If nothing else, this will prompt you to think about a Joe Biden/Chris Christie 2016 showdown. Ten points if you don't immediately suffer a head-splitting migraine. Ariel Edwards-Levy: "In a McClatchy-Marist poll released Wednesday, Democrats Hillary Clinton and Joe Biden had the edge over most of their hypothetical Republican rivals. Clinton took more than 50 percent of the vote against Rubio (52 percent to 40 percent), Paul (52 to 41), and Bush (54 to 38), while Biden had slightly narrower leads against each of the three men. The exception to the rule was Christie, who beat Biden by 3 points and only lost to Clinton by 3 points. Since the election is still far away, the numbers may say less about electoral prospects than name recognition -- Clinton and Biden are almost universal household names, while many of the Republicans remain lesser-known." [HuffPost]
Guy thinks children in his country are possibly being slaughtered en masse, decides to write an op-ed: "In an article published Wednesday on the conservative website RedState, Republican National Committee chairman Reince Priebus blasted Democrats for supporting Planned Parenthood, while floating the damning suggestion that the likes of President Barack Obama and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) support infanticide." [TPM]
WILL NATIONALS PARK GET A SPONSORED NAME? - Unless the franchise goes with "Shoe City Stadium," we're going to be very disappointed. Scratch that: We'd also be pleased with "Glover Park Group Stadium." WaPo: "[T]he team’s owners, the family of Ted Lerner, have yet to make their big commercial home run: a long-term stadium naming-rights deal, expected by some to soar as high as $15 million a year over several decades. ...Zimbalist estimated that a Nationals Park naming-rights deal would bring $10 million to $15 million a year for 20 years or more. There are not many companies that can afford the kind of outlay and still get a return for their shareholders. The Washington area names most frequently mentioned include hospitality group Marriott Worldwide, financial firm Capital One, Chevy Chase-based insurance giant Geico, Baltimore-based Under Armour and the big local defense contractors, including Lockheed Martin, General Dynamics and Northrop Grumman... Capital One’s founder and chief executive, Richard D. Fairbank, is a big sports fan and a partner in Ted Leonsis’s holding group, which owns Verizon Center and its tenants, the National Basketball Association’s Wizards and the National Hockey League’s Capitals." [WaPo]
BECAUSE YOU'VE READ THIS FAR - Slow and steady always wins the race, as evidenced by this showdown between a cat and a laundry hamper.
- We're pretty sure "Chicks With Steve Buscemeyes" is a gateway drug to "Actress Without Teeth." [http://bit.ly/ZrMDEL]
- Safer than propellering, but just as stupid: high schooler "swims" between lockers. [http://bit.ly/11n6zgV]
- An aerial tour of Hashima, the abandoned island featured in "Skyfall." [http://bit.ly/14ETRx0]
- If chivalry weren't already dead, it definitely kicked the bucket at last night's Astros/Cardinals game, when a fan jumped out of the way of a home run that struck his girlfriend. [http://bit.ly/14NinMU]
- Always. Be. Aging: Alec Baldwin turns 55 today. Here are ten of his best scenes. [http://bit.ly/16wTyCS]
- An animated presentation of JIm Morrison declaring that big is beautiful. [http://bit.ly/12hvxx6]
- Traffic laws don't apply to horses. Horses are above the law. [http://bit.ly/XNzpaB]
@nirajc: That moment when you come across a great, quotable piece in your research and realize it was written by Jonah Lehrer.
@anamariecox: I’m old enough to remember the last time Hillary was the inevitable nominee.
@joseiswriting: Twitter verified my status before the U.S. government.
Got something to add? Send tips/quotes/stories/photos/events/fundraisers/job movement/juicy miscellanea to Eliot Nelson (firstname.lastname@example.org), Ryan Grim (email@example.com) or Arthur Delaney (firstname.lastname@example.org). Follow us on Twitter @HuffPostHill (twitter.com/HuffPostHill). Sign up here: http://huff.to/an2k2e