Michele Bachmann will retire from Congress after her term ends, a devastated Media Matters learned today. Chuck Schumer's comms guy will soon handle press for the Department of Justice, meaning Eric Holder will pivot to the ills of Four Loko more often now. And 20 percent of the bills Congress has passed in last decade assigned names to post offices. That means a surprisingly low 80 percent repealed Obamacare. This is HUFFPOST HILL for Wednesday, May 29th, 2013:
HOLDER TO MEET WITH WASHINGTON JOURNOS, TRY TO SMOOTH OVER THE WHOLE BIG BROTHER THING - We can't confirm whether David Leonhardt will frisk the attorney general to see if he's wired. Michael Calderone: "U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder is expected to meet this week with the Washington bureau chiefs of several major media outlets to discuss the Justice Department's guidelines for dealing with journalists in leak investigations. It's not yet certain exactly when the meeting (or meetings) will take place, but a Justice Department official confirmed to The Huffington Post that it would be sometime over the next two days. Politico's Mike Allen reported Wednesday morning that the DOJ began contacting bureau chiefs on Tuesday. The Huffington Post's Washington bureau chief, Ryan Grim [Editor's note: Oh, hey!], also has been contacted...The fact that Holder is meeting with the bureau chiefs is on the record, but Nanda Chitre, acting director of the DOJ's public affairs office, confirmed to The Huffington Post that the meeting itself will be off the record." [HuffPost]
In a statement provided to Calderone, the Times' executive editor, Jill Abramson, said her paper will not be represented at the meeting: "We will not be attending the session at DOJ. It isn't appropriate for us to attend an off the record meeting with the attorney general. Our Washington bureau is aggressively covering the department's handling of leak investigations at this time. Evidently, there will be a future session with department officials on the substance of how the law should be applied in leak cases and I am hopeful that our counsel, David McCraw will be able to participate in that meeting."
Brian Fallon, head of press for Chuck Schumer and Senate dems, has been tapped to be DOJ's new spokesperson. "Mr. Fallon, 31, isn't starting right away," the WSJ reports. "He is expected to stay on Capitol Hill until about mid-June, as Senate work continues on legislation overhauling the nation's immigration laws. Mr. Fallon has worked for six years in the office of Mr. Schumer, who has one of the most aggressive press operations in Washington." [WSJ]
More class warfare from the 'Occupy Wall Street' protesters over at the Congressional Budget Office. The CBO took a look at who benefits from tax breaks, with familiar results: "The 10 major tax expenditures considered here are distributed unevenly across the income scale. In calendar year 2013, more than half of the combined benefits of those tax expenditures will accrue to households with income in the highest quintile (or one-fifth) of the population (with 17 percent going to households in the top 1 percent of the population), CBO estimates. In contrast, 13 percent of those tax expenditures will accrue to households in the middle quintile, and only 8 percent will accrue to households in the lowest quintile." [CBO.gov]
SEX SEX SEX SEX SEX SEX - Do you like the sequential nature of time? Do you like to mark its progression by segmenting it into periods linked to the Earth's orbit? Do you like men with degrees who work in low- to moderate-paying fields with casual dress codes? Then you'll love the Men of HuffPost Calendar. Two-thirds of HuffPost Hill are featured in July 2014, while the other third was off somewhere else, having respect for himself. All proceeds benefit womyn. [Hubba Hubba]
DAILY DELANEY DOWNER - North Carolina's hard-line unemployment reforms will cost the state's long-term jobless eligibility for extended federal benefits a month from now. Sarah Ovaska: "Tens of thousands of long-term unemployed workers will be suddenly cut off from their benefits July 1, a reality that many of the affected don't realize. The N.C. Division of Employment Security has just begun informing the estimated 70,000 long-term unemployed about the looming cut-off date a little more than a month away. 'We're really desperate as to what's going on here,' said JoAnn Loggins, of Morganton, who learned about the cut-off through a friend. 'If they cut off unemployment, I'm going to be devastated; I'm going to be homeless.'" Oh, they're cutting it off alright. Hang in there. [NCPolicyWatch.com]
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IRS TARGETING MEDICAL MARIJUANA BUSINESSES - And we don't mean to treat the anxiety disorder brought on by working for the IRS' chief counsel's office. Ariel Shearer: "For the past several years, the Internal Revenue Service has been systematically targeting medical marijuana establishments, relying on an obscure statute that gives the taxing agency unintended power. The IRS has been functioning as an arm of justice, employing the U.S. tax code as a weapon in the federal government's ongoing war against legal cannabis.The majority of Americans favor legalization of marijuana, while 18 states and the District of Columbia have already legalized medical marijuana. But pot businesses in those states are vulnerable to the federal government's strategic application of IRS Code Section 280E, a law enacted in 1982 after a drug dealer claimed his yacht and weapons purchases as legitimate business expenses -- and long before medical marijuana was first legalized in California in 1996. Now the IRS is applying a rule originally aimed at illegal (and often violent) drug trafficking to businesses that are entirely legal under their states' laws. Medical marijuana dispensaries are facing audits and heavy tax bills that could force them out of business." [HuffPost]
BACHMANN WON'T RUN FOR REELECTION, INTELLIGENCE COMMITTEE IN SHAMBLES - The outspoken and controversial Minnesota congresswoman has opted to ride into the sunset, which everyone knows has a direct link to autism. "The law limits anyone from serving as president of the United States for more than eight years, and in my opinion, well, eight years is also long enough for an individual to serve as a representative for a specific Congressional district," Bachmann said in a video posted on her Facebook page. Bachmann added that her decision not to run for reelection has nothing to do with the ongoing ethics investigation into possible misconduct her 2012 presidential campaign, or her viability as a congressional candidate (she narrowly defeated businessman Jim Graves, who is running again). "Be assured, my decision was not in any way influenced by any concerns about my being re-elected to Congress," she said. "And rest assured, this decision was not impacted in any way by the recent inquiries into the activities of my former presidential campaign or my former presidential staff." [The Michele Bachmann Facebook Page / Internet Liberty Bunker]
@nowthisisnews: Bachmann's home doesn't fall within the new 2013-2023 boundaries of Minnesota's 6th congressional district: pic.twitter.com/2ZtcOg45Kh
Jason Linkins: "Michele Bachmann's Legislative Accomplishments In One Chart"
Apparently someone out there actually wants to be "Bachmann 2.0." Heres' Roll Call on the leading Republican candidates for the congresswoman's seat: "Former state Rep. Tom Emmer: He won the Republican nomination for governor in 2010 but lost to Democratic Gov. Mark Dayton. Emmer is now a radio personality in Minneapolis. State Rep. Peggy Scott: A fierce conservative who consultants said has tried to brand herself as 'Bachmann 2.0.' Former state Rep. Phil Krinkie: He unsuccessfully challenged Bachmann for the state GOP's endorsement for Congress in 2006." [Roll Call]
REID DONOR BUSTED - Scott Sonner: "A former Nevada powerbroker was convicted Wednesday of making illegal campaign contributions to U.S. Sen. Harry Reid. A federal jury reached the verdict in the case against real estate developer and once powerful lobbyist Harvey Whittemore....Prosecutors said Whittemore gave nearly $150,000 to family members and employees in 2007 to make contributions he had promised to Reid while concealing himself as the true source to skirt campaign finance laws....Reid was not accused of any wrongdoing. He has said he was unaware of any potential problems with the money he received. 'I received $25 million. He raised $150,000,' Reid previously told the Las Vegas Sun." [AP]
POLITICIAN REALIZES BEING A DEMOCRAT IS NOT A BAD IDEA IN NEW ENGLAND - That's just one of many insights you'll gleam from HuffPost Hill's forthcoming insider's guide to Washington, "Yeah, I Hear Bloomingdale Is Nice" (Chapter 5: "How To Willie Horton Your Opponent With Emojis"). Available Spring 2048. WaPo: "Rhode Island Gov. Lincoln Chafee (I) intends to run for reelection as a Democrat, according to two people familiar with his decision, a move that suggests that the first-term governor does not see a path to reelection as an independent. Chafee, a former Republican senator, won the governorship in 2010 in a competitive three-way race. His prospects for a second term have looked dim, as polling shows his numbers are downright bad... His decision signals that he believes his best chance for survival is competing in what is expected to be a competitive Democratic primary...The Democratic Governors Association has said it will not endorse a candidate in the primary, opting instead to simply support the eventual nominee, whomever it ends up being. Treasurer Gina Raimondo and Providence Mayor Angel Taveras are expected to enter the Democratic race, and each looks like a stronger option for the general election than Chafee." [WaPo]
Sad news for those of you who like setting your water on fire: "Mora County, a conservative ranching community in New Mexico, is the first U.S. county to ban the practice of fracking, according to reports from the Los Angeles Times. Wells are the only source of water in Mora, which is why last month officials announced a countywide ban on fracking citing water safety concerns." [HuffPost's Lucia Graves]
President Obama will attend two fundraisers for the D-trip this evening ("D-trip" being the Washington term that most sounds like an 80s b-boy's nickname -- that and "Jim Sensenbrenner"): "President Barack Obama will appear at two fundraisers on Wednesday night in his hometown of Chicago to raise money for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. This is the third time the president has appeared at fundraisers for the campaign arm of the House Democrats as they seek to reclaim control of the chamber from the Republican majority in 2014. One event will be held at the Downtown Hilton just off of Lake Michigan, and another will be held at the home of Bettylu and Paul Saltzman, major Democratic donors and longtime patrons of the president." [HuffPost's Paul Blumenthal]
NEITHER SNOW NOR RAIN NOR HEAT NOR GLOOM OF NIGHT WILL KEEP CONGRESS FROM NAMING POST OFFICES - Amanda Terkel: "Over the past decade, 20 percent of the legislation Congress has passed has been to name post offices. The findings are contained in an April 26 report by the Congressional Research Service that was obtained by The Huffington Post. The height of the post office-naming craze was in the 110th Congress (2007-2008), which passed 109 bills to name post offices -- 24 percent of all the legislation it passed. The last Congress (112th), which was the most unproductive since at least the 1940s, even managed to move through 46 bills naming post offices, out of 240 total measures passed. (It also passed six bills regarding commemorative coins.) Many post offices have been named for fallen U.S. service members. Bob Hope, Mickey Mantle and Nat King Cole have also received the honor." [HuffPost]
#325 in our series That Feeling You Get At Cap Lounge: "A House Republican staffer recently gave helping a left-leaning pal the old college try, blasting out the following SOS on a congressional email group 'To: Tour Coordinators Subject: Hot D Intern Prospect | One of my friends from college, just graduated and is trying to intern on the Hill this summer. She is a smoke show from FSU, but she happens to be a Dem so I'm having trouble finding her a spot. She's a smart girl and has worked for FEMA. She's real cool and gets along with everyone. If one your interns falls through or you can squeeze another in, give her a shot.'" [Roll Call]
BECAUSE YOU'VE READ THIS FAR - Cat in a box on a skateboard wants to know what you've done with your day. Yeah, that's what cat in a box on a skateboard thought.
PRESIDENT CAUGHT WITH LIPSTICK-SMEARED COLLAR - It's cool, guys, he just came from the studio where he was the "before" model for a Tide commercial (gets those tough-to-remove stains!). CNN: "Speaking at a White House reception for Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) Heritage Month in the East Room, the president explained why he had a red mark on his white shirt. Thanking the crowd for their warm greeting, he said 'a sign of that warmth is the lipstick on my collar.' 'I have to say I think I know the culprit,' he said, adding it was the aunt of 'American Idol' runner-up Jessica Sanchez. 'Auntie, right there, look at this,' he said, pointing to the smooch mark as the crowd laughed and cheered." [CNN]
- YOU READY TO BE PUMPED UP? YOU READY FOR SOME HEART POUNDING ACTION? THEN READY YOUR FEEBLE SOUL FOR THIS ADRENALINE-PUMPING DOCUMENTARY SHORT ON WOODEN BOAT CARPENTRY!!! [http://bit.ly/18rUwnq]
- Turntable retrofitted to play the rings of a tree. [http://chzb.gr/155am3w]
- Texas Ranger Adrian Beltre does not like having his head touched so naturally his teammates do what any respectable human being would do: constantly touch his head. [http://bit.ly/11as6K5]
- Commercial breaks from Nickelodeon in 1995. [http://bit.ly/6Qto1X]
- Borussia Dortmund, the soccer club that lost the Champions League final, was greeted at the airport by a celebratory flashmob. The club didn't exactly appreciate the revelry. [http://deadsp.in/18xiaMZ]
- Apparently coffee isn't called "joe" because it comes from the fruit of the Joseph Gordon-Levitt tree. [http://bit.ly/143791j]
- A lot of things went wrong for local news anchors and reporters this month. Here's a compilation of the more cringe-inducing moments. [http://huff.to/146kS7H]
@delrayser: Politifact To Announce Massive Layoffs In Wake Of Bachmann Retirement
@pourmecoffee: McCain's back from Syria and ready to get to work at his job: urging US military action and questioning others' patriotism on television.
@timothypmurphy: Gonna be tough for Joe Miller to use press freedom as a wedge issue.
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