Republicans were so irked by President Obama appointing Susan Rice as his next national security adviser you'd think the president had tapped Mitt Romney's tax returns for the job. The quality of Jack Lew's signature has improved from "spinning top with a pen tip" to "drunk third grader." And Lindsey Graham isn't sure bloggers deserve First Amendment protection. The ACLU has already offered legal assistance to Cats That Look Like Hitler. This is HUFFPOST HILL for Wednesday, June 5th, 2013:
CONGRESS BAD, ACCORDING TO EVERYBODY - It's so unpopular hipsters are going to start being into it. When unemployment hits four percent, they won't stop reminding you about how they are so over it. Ariel Edwards-Levy: "Just 6 percent of voters give Congress a positive job rating, according to polling released Wednesday. One percent think Congress is doing an excellent job and 5 percent think it's doing a good job, a Rasmussen Reports survey found. Twenty-six percent rated Congress' performance as fair, and 64 percent said it's doing poorly. Voters were only slightly less lukewarm toward their own representatives: 33 percent said their representatives deserve to be reelected, while 36 percent said they don't and 31 percent weren't sure." [HuffPost]
HOUSE IMMIGRATION TALKS FALTERING - This is what you get when Republicans insist upon adding "Left Behind" trivia to the citizenship exam. Politico: "One source familiar with the House discussions said the negotiations right now were at a 'very delicate place.' The source added that the lawmakers were scheduled to huddle several times later on Wednesday to try and resolve the outstanding sticking points. Multiple sources indicated that the latest hangup was -- again -- over health care for undocumented immigrants. Several sources close to the negotiations disputed that the House discussions have failed, countering an ABC News report that said the eight lawmakers who were crafting a comprehensive reform bill were set to meet for the final time Wednesday without accomplishing their goal." [Politico]
Womp womp, aspiring president edition: "After Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) gave a pitch on Wednesday for House Republicans to support the Senate 'gang of eight' immigration reform efforts, conservatives said they appreciate his attempt to strengthen the bill, but ultimately don't expect to support the upper chamber's legislation. 'We have enough House members at 435, so we really don't need another one,' Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) quipped when asked about Rubio's impact on the House's own immigration legislation. Rubio spoke about legislative plans during a meeting of the House Republican Study Committee, along with fellow gang of eight member Sen. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.), immigration reform opponent Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.), Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) and other lawmakers." [HuffPost's Sabrina Siddiqui and Elise Foley]
Attention congressional reporters: "Laura Lytle Eckart Monday was named the new director of the Senate Daily Press Gallery, effective immediately. She succeeds Joe Keenan, who retired last month. Eckart was the enthusiastic choice of the Standing Committee of Correspondents, the five reporters who govern gallery affairs... Her gallery experience includes stints as deputy director of the House periodical press gallery from 2003 to 2008, senior media coordinator in the Senate daily gallery from 2008 to 2010, assistant director of the House periodical gallery from 2010 to 2011, and deputy director of the Senate print gallery since March 2012."
DAILY DELANEY DOWNER - A D.C. homeless man died after a Mercedes hit him on K Street, D.C. police said. At around 10:00 p.m. on May 16, Dereck Audrey started crossing the street from the southeast corner of K Street and Connecticut Avenue NW. A 2013 Mercedes Benz E350 hit Audrey while driving east. An ambulance took him to the hospital, and on Monday Audrey died at age 53. He had no fixed address. Police said the case is under investigation but that there are no charges pending against the driver, identified only as an adult male. He stayed on the scene after the accident, according to police. [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 firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow us on Twitter - @HuffPostHill
MARCO RUBIO MIGHT NOT SUPPORT HIS OWN IMMIGRATION BILL - 70 VOTES! Examiner: "Sen. Marco Rubio, the leading Republican behind the Gang of Eight comprehensive immigration reform bill, says he will not vote for the legislation he helped write and has staked his political future on, unless substantial changes are made before final Senate consideration. Speaking with radio host Hugh Hewitt Tuesday, Rubio said the Senate should 'strengthen the border security parts of this bill so that they’re stronger, so that they don’t give overwhelming discretion to the Department of Homeland Security.' He said he was working with other senators on amendments to do just that. Then Hewitt asked: 'If those amendments don’t pass, will you yourself support the bill that emerged from Judiciary, Senator Rubio?' Rubio answered, 'Well, I think if those amendments don’t pass, then I think we’ve got a bill that isn’t going to become law, and I think we’re wasting our time. So the answer is no.'" [Examiner]
OBAMA NAMES SUSAN RICE AS HIS NEW NATIONAL SECURITY ADVISER - During the press conference, we hear Lindsey Graham grabbed his chest and had to sit down, like Obi-Wan did when Alderaan was destroyed. AP: "Shaking up his national security team, President Barack Obama tapped diplomat Susan Rice as his national security adviser, defying Republicans who have vigorously criticized her faulty explanation about the attack on Americans in Benghazi, Libya. 'Susan is the consummate public servant – a patriot who puts her country first,' Obama said while announcing Rice's appointment Wednesday during a Rose Garden ceremony. Rice will take over the top national security post from Tom Donilon, who is resigning after four years in the White House. Obama lauded the 58-year-old Donilon for having 'shaped every single national security policy of my presidency,' including the renewed U.S. focus on ties with Asia...For Rice – a longtime Obama ally and close confidante of the president – the appointment is a bit of redemption after she was forced to withdraw from consideration as Obama's second-term secretary of State amid criticism of her handling of the Benghazi attacks." [HuffPost]
The president also nominated Samantha Power replace Rice as UN ambassador. She will spend the next few years miserably trying to square her past as a Pulitzer Prize-winning human rights advocate with the Obama administration's, um, you know, record. We recommend alcohol. AP: "The president also announced the nomination of former White House aide Samantha Power to replace Rice as U.S. ambassador to the United Nations. Power is a human rights advocate and expert on genocide. It's unclear whether the changes signal a significant shift in Obama's foreign policy, particularly in Syria, where the U.S. is being pressured to act against President Bashar Assad Power is seen as a proponent of American intervention on humanitarian grounds and Rice backed greater U.S. involvement in Libya, though administration officials have made clear they don't draw direct comparisons between the current situation in Syria and the 2011 push to oust Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi." [Ibid.]
IRS OFFICIAL IN CHARGE OF OBAMACARE IMPLEMENTATION UNDER INVESTIGATION - At what point do we convene our greatest philosophers and theoretical physicists to determine once and for all if we are just projections of Darrell Issa's daydreams? BuzzFeed: "The IRS has put a top official in charge of implementing Obamacare on administrative leave after it was discovered he had accepted $1,100 in free food and other items during a 2010 conference, according to multiple House and Senate sources. The IRS informed congressional staff investigating the agency that Fred Schindler had been put on leave for accepting the gifts. A second unnamed staffer in the division was also put on leave for accepting the gifts, the aides said. Schindler is the deputy for Sarah Hall Ingram, who is heading up implementation of the Affordable Care Act for the IRS. Ingram has come under scrutiny recently because she oversaw the division of the IRS which targeted conservative organizations seeking nonprofit status. According to congressional sources, the suspensions appear to be the first examples of employees being punished as part of a separate scandal over the service’s spending on conferences." [BuzzFeed]
A second employee, based in California, was also placed on administrative leave.
Rush Holt is running for Frank Lautenberg's seat. Losing is a character building experience. Johhn Celock: "A Democratic congressman is entering the special election for New Jersey's open United States Senate seat, setting up a three-way August primary. PolitickerNJ.com reported that Rep. Rush Holt will enter the Democratic primary likely against Newark Mayor Cory Booker and Rep. Frank Pallone, who are both expected to run. Gov. Chris Christie (R) announced the Aug. 13 primary and Oct. 16 special election on Tuesday to fill the seat left vacant by Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D), who died Monday. There has been speculation about Holt, Pallone and Booker running for the seat in 2014, when Lautenberg had planned to retire. Candidates for the August primary have until 4 p.m. Monday to submit petitions to the state Division of Elections." [HuffPost]
Jack Lew's signature can't escape its destiny. After the treasury secretary cleaned up his loop de loop signature, it appears to be reverting back to its natural state.
LINDSEY GRAHAM DOESN'T THINK BLOGGERS DESERVE FIRST AMENDMENT PROTECTION - A repugnant opinion, but bloggers definitely do not deserve 4th Amendment protections against unreasonable search or seizures -- what hoarder does? Luke Johnson: "Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) questioned whether bloggers deserve First Amendment protections when speaking last week about a media shield law he supports. 'Who is a journalist is a question we need to ask ourselves,' Graham told reporters at his South Carolina offices May 29, according a Free Times article published Wednesday. 'Is any blogger out there saying anything -- do they deserve First Amendment protection? These are the issues of our times.' Of course, bloggers have the same free speech protections as anyone else under the First Amendment. But debate remains over whether they deserve the same protections under a proposed media shield law. Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) raised similar questions on 'Fox News Sunday' on May 26." [HuffPost]
Jason Linkins: "Chuck Grassley Really Upset That Obama Doesn't Call Him Anymore"
LGBT LABOR DEPARTMENT SUPERVILLAIN IS THE NEW IRS - Florida is fighting the Obama administration's claim that the state's workforce agency broke federal civil rights laws by making it too hard for non-English speakers and people with disabilities to claim unemployment insurance. An LGBT comics website is key to the state's case....the state said that an official with the Civil Rights Center has "publicly made or endorsed politically and ideologically charged statements about her role at the Department of Labor." Specifically, Florida cited a bio for department lawyer Denise Sudell on a website that promotes LGBT comic books and their authors and readers. The bio says, "In her paying job, she's an attorney working underground (read: within the system) to keep the evil overseers of the Bush administration from dismantling U.S. federal civil rights laws." The apparently dated bio was still available online Wednesday via Google's cache. "In other words, the USDOL CRC's Acting Chief of External Enforcement has publicly stated or endorsed the notion that she brings a political and ideological agenda to her civil-rights enforcement role in the federal government," the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity said in letters to House Education and Workforce Committee Chairman Rep. John Kline (R-Minn.) and the Labor Department's independent investigator." [HuffPost]
BECAUSE YOU'VE READ THIS FAR - Husky plays dead in very dramatic fashion -- also doubles as a phenomenal LeBron James impression.
- According to the 1950s, being a dutiful housewife can help you survive a nuclear attack. [http://bit.ly/11fHCAl]
- A brief history of "derp." [http://nym.ag/ZrBLeS]
- A new Tumblr provides advice column submission writers the answers they really want. [http://bit.ly/102aYqs]
- Behold the scientifically perfect Pinterest photo in all its well-lit glory. [http://bit.ly/11ESCXT]
- The guy behind Dollar Shave Club -- and its viral introductory video -- is back with a new service dedicated to... baby wipes. [http://bit.ly/16GNfQU]
- Tweet any of these words and your next trip through airport security will be a bitch. [http://nowth.is/19Dnxvq]
- The world's longest book domino chain. [http://bit.ly/134Qvzj]
@BenjySarlin: Fun watching Democrats go from "Obama's amazing Ohio job recovery!" last year to "Kasich's Ohio disaster" this year
@nickconfessore: The Eskimos have 50 different words for snow, but there is no other word for derp.
@nickbaumann: Power Rice sounds like a future stupid health food fad. The Power Rice Diet © 2013 @NickBaumann.
5:30 pm: Even though Stuart Smalley is actually serving in the Senate now, Tim Scott has what is easily the most vomit-inducingly feelgood PAC name: Tomorrow Is Meaningful (TIM). [National Republican Senatorial Committee, 425 2nd Street NE]
6:30 pm: Chairman of the Still-In-Congress Caucus, David Vitter, visits Washington's greasiest New York import that isn't Shake Shack. [Carmine's, 425 7th Street NW]
8:00 am: Orrin Hatch attends a fundraiser co-hosted by the National Football League. If you see Dan Snyder, say hi for us. [1201 Pennsylvania Avenue NW]
5:00 pm: Michael Bennet gets a hand in his efforts to hold on to the Seante for the DSCC from Barack Obama, who'll take a break from subpoenaing your snap chats or whatever to make an appearance. Harry Reid will also be on hand. [Palo Alto, CA]
6:00 pm: Bill Huizenga bros out with his "Evening of Bocce Ball and Spirits on the Rooftop." [Venable, 575 7th Street NW]
Got something to add? Send tips/quotes/stories/photos/events/fundraisers/job movement/juicy miscellanea to Eliot Nelson (email@example.com), Ryan Grim (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Arthur Delaney (email@example.com). Follow us on Twitter @HuffPostHill (twitter.com/HuffPostHill). Sign up here: http://huff.to/an2k2e