Rep. Mike Rogers' name is being floated as the next FBI director, and not just because "Mike Rogers" is the most quintessentially G-man name in existence. Saxby Chambliss shot a hole-in-one while golfing with the president today, a feat he was destined to accomplish the moment his parents named him "Saxby Chambliss." And a growing number of private sector employees are receiving huge payouts to take a job on the Hill. Next time you're at the Tune Inn, drinks are most definitely on your chief-of-staff. This is HUFFPOST HILL for Monday, May 6th, 2013:
CORPORATIONS BUYING CONGRESS IN EXCITING NEW WAYS - We're totally fine with this so long as staffers have to stamp the names of whichever corporation bought them on their work clothes, a la NASCAR ("Hey, Jim. I like your suit, the windowpane pattern really compliments the Citigroup logo sewn onto your butt."). The Nation: "Recent disclosures and employment agreements reviewed by The Nation show that current leadership staff to both Democratic and Republican lawmakers have received six figure bonuses and other incentive pay from corporate firms shortly before taking jobs in Congress. In many cases, these staffers are well positioned to influence multi-billion dollar legislation on issues ranging from tax policy to defense, and which impact their previous employers. If government officials-turned lobbyists reflect a well-known 'revolving door,' paying corporate employees big bucks to leave lucrative posts to take jobs in government reflect a 'reverse revolving door.'... In January, Ambrose 'Bruce' Hock, was hired by Senator Jim Inhofe (R-OK) as a staff member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, where Inhofe recently became ranking member. Hock, a former Northrop Grumman executive and lobbyist, received up to $450,000in bonus and incentive pay from Northrop Grumman in March, according to disclosures filed with the Ethics Committee." [The Nation]
Good oversight, team: @NBCNews: JUST IN: Air Force officer in charge of sexual assault prevention arrested for allegedly sexually assaulting a woman.
RED STATE DEMS OPPOSING SOCIAL SECURITY CUTS - With Sabrina Siddiqui: "The majority of Senate Democrats running for reelection in 2014, including three running in red states, have broken with President Barack Obama and are opposing his effort to cut Social Security benefits, imperiling the austerity project known as the 'grand bargain.' [Obama] had already put so-called chained CPI on the table during both debt ceiling and fiscal cliff negotiations with House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio), and defended his move this time by emphasizing it was a reform 'championed by Republicans leaders in Congress' that would only be made in exchange for new tax revenues. But Democrats have repeatedly relied on their defense of Medicare and Social Security during election years, and the 2014 crop of candidates are no different: Eight of the 14 Senate Democrats seeking reelection have come out against chained CPI. Democratic Sens. Kay Hagan (N.C.), Mark Begich (Alaska) and Mark Pryor (Ark.), all running in states won by Republican Mitt Romney in 2012, have publicly opposed the president's effort, going so far as to co-sponsor a Senate resolution against chained CPI last week." [HuffPost]
@dave_jamieson: That much-hyped GOP bill that would change overtime laws, the Working Families Flex Act? White House says they'd veto it
SENATE TO CONSIDER GAY ADOPTION BILL - It will be a great opportunity for the upper chamber's more conservative members to prove their love of the family by opposing the creation of new ones. Amanda Terkel: "A bill legalizing adoption and foster parenting by same-sex couples is set to be reintroduced on Tuesday, with supporters hopeful that momentum around the Supreme Court's oral arguments on marriage equality and recent pro-LGBT comments from Republican lawmakers will give their legislation a boost. The Every Child Deserves A Family Act would prohibit programs that receive federal funding from discriminating against potential foster and adoptive families based on sexual orientation, gender identity or marital status." [HuffPost]
DIRTY WATER - Remember all that reporting we did about how the nuclear industry and its allies on the Nuclear Regulatory Commission had ousted the chairman? And then one of them tried to block an investigation into the Palisades plant in Fred Upton's district in Michigan? Well, now the Palisades plant is leaking "slightly" radioactive water. Here's Terry Young, vice president of Nuclear Communications for Entergy, the company that owns the plant: "It's really impossible to tell at this juncture what the length of this shutdown will be because we haven't yet had a chance to identify what the issue is that we're going to need to fix," Young said....Officials from the Nuclear Regulatory Commission estimate 79 gallons of "slightly" radioactive water drained into Lake Michigan on Saturday. NRC Spokeswoman Viktoria Mitlyng says the agency doesn't know exactly how radioactive the water was, but based on general knowledge of where the water came from, there is no risk to public safety. "The unplanned release of this radioactive water is not something you want to have happen," Mitlyng added. [Michigan Radio]
@ChadPergram: Fox has learned that Sen. Chambliss (R-GA) shot a hole-in-one during round of golf with Obama at Joint Base Andrews today.
CHAMBLISS OFFICIAL STATEMENT: "We had a delightful day of golf with folks who enjoy playing the game. We talked some business, but it was mainly a day for everyone to get away from the office for a little while." [AJC.com[
The FBI's union wants Rep. Mike Rogers to lead the agency. He is not to be confused with Rep. Michael Grimm, also a former FBI agent, who is under investigation by the FBI. The Hill: "The FBI Agents Association said Rogers -- a former FBI agent and chairman of the House Intelligence Committee -- would be the perfect candidate to replace Director Robert Mueller when his term expires in September. 'Chairman Rogers exemplifies the principles that should be possessed by the next FBI director,' said the union's president, Konrad Motyka...Rogers, who left the FBI in 1995, didn't immediately rule out the possibility of accepting a nomination to head the Bureau, saying only that he was "honored" to be put forward as a desired candidate to replace Mueller." [The Hill]
THE UNITED COLORS OF PARANOID SELF-LOATHING GOP LOBBYIST - HuffPost Hill's Paranoid Self-Loathing GOP Lobbyist values diversity."I'm pretty happy that our party nominated a conservative hispanic businessman in Massachusetts," PSLGOPL writes, having recently finished a FOIA request for all electronic communications between the CIA and his garbage man. "I'm waiting for the HPH's white upwardly mobile progressive young males (who probably live in Chairman Markey's Chevy Chase neighborhood) to explain to me why, when the GOP practices diversity, it isn't good enough when the Democrat opponent is a really rich, white, male, 36 year incumbent (Arthur that's older than you by a lot)." Thanks, PSLGOPL!
DAILY DELANEY DOWNER - From the summary of the Bureau of Labor Statistics' latest comparison of union and non-union workers: "Union workers continue to receive higher wages than nonunion workers and have greater access to most employer-sponsored employee benefits; during the 2001-2011 period, the differences between union and nonunion benefit cost levels appear to have widened." Just 13 percent of wage-earners belonged to a union in 2011. [BLS.gov]
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Mark Sanford likes using props... not like that, sicko.
GOP MAY HOLD DEBT CEILING HOSTAGE... AGAIN - The debt ceiling must be suffering a severe case of Stockholm syndrome, attending strategy meetings with Eric Cantor and appearing on Hannity. Politico: "Now, momentum is building to tie a rewrite of the Tax Code to hiking the debt cap, which will need to be raised by the fall because the limit will technically be hit this month. Top lawmakers and aides on the House Ways and Means Committee have quietly begun mulling over and crafting mechanisms that would attempt to 'commit Washington' to tax reform over the next five months, several sources involved with the planning say...The idea is in its infancy, according to sources involved in planning, but here's how it would work: Legislation would authorize something like a three-month bump in the debt limit while simultaneously giving the same amount of time for the House to act on its tax-reform plan. When the House passes something, the debt limit would bet increased again, and when the Senate moves its own tax-reform product, Congress would authorize another bump in the debt ceiling. A larger increase in the borrowing limit could come if President Barack Obama signs the legislation, according to a source familiar with the thinking of the Ways and Means Committee. The plan would most likely be accompanied by a road map that lays out certain guidelines for Tax Code rewrite." [Politico]
REID SEES MOVEMENT ON BACKGROUND CHECKS - Sam Stein: "Senate Democrats believe that they have several new votes in favor of a bill that would expand background checks for gun buyers, after weeks in which those who opposed the legislation faced strong political backlash at home. The additional votes would still put the bill, a bipartisan compromise sponsored by Sens. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) and Pat Toomey (R-Pa.), shy of the 60 necessary for passage. And tellingly, no one boasting of growing support would reveal the names of those lawmakers ready to flip...'Joe Manchin called me yesterday,' Reid said. 'He thinks he has a couple more votes. The one senator, Republican Senator from New Hampshire [Kelly Ayotte], has been -- wham, man has she been hit hard. She's the only senator in the northeast to vote against background checks. She went from a hugely positive number in New Hampshire -- her negatives now outweigh her positives. She is being hit every place she goes. So we are going to pick up some more votes. I may be able to get another Democrat or two. That would get us up to 57. We may only need three additional Republicans. So we'll see.'" [HuffPost]
Case in point: "Sen. Rob Portman's (R-Ohio) vote against bipartisan background checks legislation followed him home during the congressional recess, with protests at his events and a request for a meeting from the mother of a gun violence victim. Portman declined to meet with Jerri Jackson of Springfield, Ohio, who lost her son in the mass shooting in Aurora, Colo. and wanted to explain why she supports background checks. His office cited scheduling conflicts." [HuffPost's Preston Maddock]
GANG OF EIGHT AIMING FOR SUPERMAJORITY -
Which they will do by naming the immigration bill the "Non-Binding Support Our Troops Ronald Reagan Freedom Act". Politico: "Senate immigration negotiators are targeting as many as two dozen Republicans for a show-of-force majority -- which they believe may be the only way a reform bill will have the momentum to force the House to act. Reform proponents are looking for votes far beyond the usual moderate suspects to senators in conservative bastions such as Utah, Georgia and Wyoming. The senators landed on the list because they're retiring, representing agricultural states, anxious to get the issue behind the party, important to persuading skittish House Republicans or all of the above... [Sen. Chuck] Schumer is trying to persuade Republicans by emphasizing what's already in the bill, such as an overhaul to the agricultural visa program that the industry endorsed. Rubio is pressing the Judiciary Committee, which will take up the bill this week, to strengthen the border security requirements. Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) may address concerns about the Boston bombings with an amendment mandating broader background checks for so-called high-risk immigrants." [Politico]
Heritage Foundation doing some grade-A think tank trolling: "To the chagrin of Republican senators who are pushing for immigration reform, the conservative Heritage Foundation unveiled a much-disputed study on Monday putting the cost of legalizing undocumented immigrants at $6.3 trillion over the next 50 years... [Heritage's Robert] Rector acknowledged that the Heritage report leaves out some aspects of immigration reform that many expect to help the economy, such as streamlined legal immigration. The report also makes certain assumptions about welfare use and whether now-poor undocumented immigrants would remain so if they were to gain legal status." [HuffPost's Elise Foley]
NEW YORK LEGISLATURE REALLY HELPING DOJ HIT ITS ANNUAL CORRUPTION QUOTAS - Newsday: "Brooklyn state Sen. John Sampson may surrender as soon as this week to face federal charges, including obstruction of justice, in a widening corruption scandal involving Albany legislators, according to two sources familiar with the investigation. The case against Sampson, a Democrat, is based, in part, on the cooperation of two of his associates, including former state Sen. Shirley Huntley, who secretly recorded his conversations, the sources said...Huntley, 74, last May had agreed to record her colleagues after the FBI told her she had been recorded on wiretaps in fraud and bribery schemes, court documents show. She recorded nine people, including seven elected officials, prosecutors revealed in court documents. In March, according to court papers, an unnamed state senator asked Huntley, who was still in office and representing the area around Kennedy Airport, if she could use 'her official influence' with the Port Authority to help a businessman he knew expand his operations at the airport 'in exchange for payment from the businessman.' The state senator was Sampson, the sources said." [HuffPost]
BECAUSE YOU'VE READ THIS FAR - Pit bull will not be denied his stick.
- Apparently government scientists have been using a "quantum internet" for a few years. [http://bit.ly/10Bha3x]
- Humankind's most awesome human, George Takei, discusses how best to handle homophobes. [http://huff.to/18pKLVo]
- Historical figures as hipsters. No no no no. Yes. [http://bit.ly/15rMDho]
- Floppy drives perform Daft Punk. [http://bit.ly/13ncGSJ]
- Why do we get hot when operating at temperatures under 98.6 degrees? Or, the most potent example of why intelligent design is bunk. [http://bit.ly/12KpWOr]
- Dog in hotdog costume know hows to manage his brand. [http://bit.ly/15rUVWr]
- Hosting a party? Incredibly depressed? Here's how you can open 24 beer bottles at once. [http://bit.ly/13YlRbN]
@pourmecoffee: Tom Cruise was something we all let happen. I see that now, see my part in it, see all of our parts. All we can do is learn from it.
@daveweigel: If Sanford pulls this off I expect Dems to invoke his name the way Homer mentioned Marge and the casino. "But YOU have a gambling problem!"
@BuzzFeedAndrew: The head of the AF sexual assault division being charged w/sexual assault is one of the stories you wish was a shitty Daily Currant article.
6:30 pm: A whole host of hospitality, travel and gaming lobbyists host a fundraiser for Roy Blunt. Branson Missouri needs a friend in Congress. [Social Reform Kitchen & Bar, 401 9th Street NW]
6:45 pm: Carolyn Maloney takes a break from representing the rough and tumble Upper East Side to attend a fundraiser hosted by the Depository Trust and Clearing Corporation, which sounds like the company that would be at the center of the "Hudsucker Proxy 2." [206 D Street SE]
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