Happy 8/9/10, everyone. We spun around three times and spat at 12:34 pm and 56.7 seconds but all we got were ethics charges against Maxine Waters. While House staffers spent the day prepping for tomorrow's votes on state aid and border security, bloggers rejoiced at Joe Lieberman's announcement that he'll likely make a reelection bid and we tried to get a quote from Rand Paul about his collegiate misadventures with Eastern religions and bongs... and then we remembered that it's the anniversary of Jerry Garcia's death. This is HUFFPOST HILL for Monday, August 9th, 2010:
BREAKING: DICK CHENEY RELEASED FROM HOSPITAL - We can rebuild him -- we have the technology: "Former Vice President Dick Cheney has been released from a suburban Washington hospital following heart surgery last month. A Cheney spokesman said in a statement that the former vice president was released Monday morning from Inova Fairfax Heart and Vascular Institute in Northern Virginia. The statement says Cheney will continue his recovery at his home. The 69-year-old former vice president has been suffering from congestive heart failure and had a small pump installed to help his heart work. He's had five heart attacks since he was 37." http://bit.ly/bKcp3e
HOUSE RECONVENES TOMORROW TO VOTE ON STATE AID BILL - The "Let's Harsh On Our LCs' Buzzes By Interrupting Their Trips Home Even Though Their Mothers Haven't Finished Their Laundry Act" will be the issue of the day. CQ: "House Democratic leaders are confident they will have the votes Tuesday to pass a $26.1 billion bill that would keep more than 140,000 teachers on the job and help states pay for medical care for the poor, leadership aides said Monday...The legislation proposes $10 billion in aid to states to prevent layoffs of teachers and other public employees and $16.1 billion in Medicaid help to the states. To pay for that spending, cuts were proposed for several programs popular with Democrats, including food stamps and a renewable-energy loan initiative." http://bit.ly/9PObVw
HuffPost Hill hears the vote will likely come early in the afternoon, giving representatives enough time to make their Wednesday golf tournament fundraisers. Phew.
Food Stamps Paying For State Aid - "Members are pissed that they're going to have to have to choose between saving jobs and protecting food stamp funding," one top progressive staffer emailed HuffPost Hill. The state aid is being offset by cuts to food stamps between 2014 and 2018. "This is one of the more egregious cases of robbing Peter to pay Paul, and is a vote we do not take lightly," they write in a letter circulating among Dems, outlining what they want for this affront: To scrap Lincoln's Senate food stamp proposal and replace it with George Miller's, then battle it out in conference come September. Look for an organizing effort around it.
The chamber will also deal with a border security measure during tomorrow's session, but a Senate screw-up will prevent it from getting signed into law before September. Revenue bills must originate in the House's Ways and Means Committee; the Senate attached its $600 million measure to a House appropriations bill. Whoops. That means the House will vote on a blue slip resolution, the legislative equivalent of failing an exam but getting a second shot at it because the professor feels sorry for you. Our borders, then, will remain fatally insecure for another month or so, after which the problem will be solved by adding another 1,500 border guards.
EXCLUSIVE: POLL FINDS VOTERS TIE CORPORATE CORRUPTION OF WASHINGTON TO ECONOMIC CONCERNS - A poll of 9,600 voters in battleground states finds that a prime way for candidates to show voters that they plan to address the faltering economy is to take a stand against corporate control of the political process. 57% said that getting the economy going required taking on corporate lobbyists. 79% said it's important that a candidate commit to reducing the influence of corporations over elections, with 56% overall saying it's very important. 60% wanted Citizens United overturned and two-thirds wold be more likely to support a candidate who backs a constitutional amendment to overturn the decision. The poll was commissioned by MoveOn.org and done by SurveyUSA. The full story in HuffPost tomorrow morning.
ROMANOFF-BENNET CONTEST ALL ABOUT CORPORATE INFLUENCE - Voter concern over corporate influence on elections and lawmaking is the most potent force in the closely watched Democratic Senate primary campaign that ends in Colorado Tuesday. Andrew Romanoff, outspent by the Obama-backed Sen. Michael Bennet, has surged since making corporate control of the political process his primary issue. He swore off political action committee (PAC) money and hammered Bennet for taking corporate cash; Bennet, in response, charged that Romanoff's "entire campaign" was based on attacking him for taking PAC money, yet he had been taking PAC money during much of his career. The poll commissioned by MoveOn in Colorado bears out that corporate power is a driving concern.
GOOGLE-VERIZON UNVEIL PROPOSAL FOR TIERED INTERNET - After swearing up and down last week that they weren't in negotiations, Google and Verizon held a media call today to introduce a joint proposal for how Internet service should be regulated. The arrangement would preserve basic 'net neutrality' standards for traditional Internet service but (and this is a big but) exempt wireless Internet access - the major area of future growth for the Internet - from the same standards. http://nyti.ms/bWmMCR
Statement from the consumer group Free Press: "The Google-Verizon pact isn't just as bad as we feared -- it's much worse. They are attacking the Internet while claiming to preserve it. Google users won't be fooled. They are promising Net Neutrality only for a certain part of the Internet, one that they'll likely stop investing in. But they are also paving the way for a new 'Internet' via fiber and wireless phones where Net Neutrality will not apply and corporations can pick and choose which sites people can easily view on their phones or any other Internet device using these networks... It would divide the information superhighway, creating new private fast lanes for the big players while leaving the little guy stranded on a winding dirt road." More here: http://huff.to/93jKB5 Reaction round-up: http://huff.to/bwqXhj
CHARGES AGAINST MAXINE WATERS MADE PUBLIC - The totally groundbreaking revelation that lawmakers will try to steer money to individuals and organizations they have connections to will no doubt rock Washington to its core. The panel charges that Waters "requested federal help for a bank where her husband owned stock and had served on its board...The Waters case revolves around whether she helped OneUnited Bank obtain federal bailout funds in late 2008. Her husband, Sidney Williams, served as a member of OneUnited's board of directors from January 2004 until April 2008, and was a stockholder in the bank. The report says Waters asked the Treasury Department to meet representatives from the National Bankers Association, a trade group representing minority-owned and women-owned banks. The discussion at that September 2008 meeting centered on OneUnited Bank." http://huff.to/ctpE7y
Waters' lawyers are taking issue with the charges saying they, yep, exhibit a double standard. Roll Call: "Lawyers for Rep. Maxine Waters have accused the House ethics committee of applying a double standard by charging her with rules violations for actions that they claim are comparable to the actions of Rep. Sam Graves (R-Mo.), who was exonerated by the committee last year." http://bit.ly/djeIzF
HOUSE REPUBLICANS TO INTRODUCE BILL AXING LAME DUCK SESSION - Sam Stein: "House Republicans are going forward with plans to introduce a resolution on Tuesday to prohibit the House of Representatives from assembling during the two-month period following the November elections. A GOP leadership aide confirmed to the Huffington Post that the resolution, authored by Rep. Tom Price (R-Ga.) for the purposes of preventing Democrats from passing legislative items during the lame-duck session, would be introduced before the House passes additional Medicaid and teacher funding." http://huff.to/aJ3qze
GATES ORDERS MAJOR CUT IN DEFENSE CONTRACTORS - NYT: "[Defense Secretary Robert Gates] said he had ordered a 10 percent reduction in spending on contractors who provide support services to the military, including intelligence-related contracts, and placed a freeze on the number of workers in the office of the secretary of defense, other Pentagon supervisory agencies and the headquarters of the military's combat commands." http://nyti.ms/csMrVE
Obama statement: "Today's announcement by Secretary Gates is another step forward in the reform efforts he has undertaken to reduce excess overhead costs, cut waste, and reform the way the Pentagon does business... Change is never easy, and I applaud Secretary Gates and his team for undertaking this critical effort to support our men and women in uniform and strengthen our national security."
Pelosi statement: "Secretary Gates...took a hard look at the Defense Department's budget and made tough decisions to cut expenses and freeze spending... In a critical step, the Secretary announced we would reduce our reliance on private contractors - putting critical functions of national security where they belong: in the hands of sworn and highly-trained military and intelligence officials."
TOMORROW'S PAPERS TODAY - Roll Call: David M. Drucker writes that Florida Gov. Charlie Crist is likely to caucus with the Democrats or the Republicans should he advance to the Senate, if only because failing to pick a side would exclude him from the chamber's choice committees and dramatically reduce his influence. The Hill: Michael O'Brien on how senior Democrats in the White House and on Capitol Hill are expressing confidence in party Chairman Tim Kaine despite the possibility of huge losses in the midterm elections.
RAND PAUL MAY SUE GQ OVER BONG STORY - Of particular note in GQ's profile is the "Aqua Buddha" incident in which Paul, while attending Baylor University, apparently blindfolded a female classmate and tried to force her to take hits from a bong. "I had to say, 'I worship you Aqua Buddha, I worship you.,'" a classmate of his tells GQ. "But when Paul showed up in Waco, he didn't conform to type. According to several of his former Baylor classmates, he became a member of a secret society called the NoZe Brotherhood, which was a refuge for atypical Baylor students....In 1978, the Baylor administration became so fed up with the NoZe that it suspended the group from campus for being, in the words of Baylor's president at the time, 'lewd, crude, and grossly sacrilegious.'" GQ also has a picture of the group. Paul is the one standing next to the one grabbing his own crotch: http://bit.ly/90z7AY
"We are investigating all our options - including Legal ones," writes Paul aide Jesse Benton in an e-mail to Ben Smith. "We will not tolerate drive by Journalism by a writer with a leftist agenda."
Sam Stein on The Ed Show: "This god called 'Aqua Buddha.' I don't know what that is."
Pretty sure we've found the Aqua Buddha. http://bit.ly/c1qKXL
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The White House plans to renominate stalled judicial nominees Goodwin Liu and Edward Chen, both of whom won Senate Judiciary Committee approval on a party-line 12-7 vote but have yet to receive a full Senate vote, the San Francisco Chronicle reports. http://bit.ly/djFIkz
"Letitia Long takes helm of Pentagon intelligence agency," reports WaPo's Jeff Stein, noting, "From 2003 to 2006, Long served as deputy to Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld's intelligence chief Stephen Cambone, a controversial figure who ran some of the Bush administration's most aggressive security initiatives." http://bit.ly/dCwGKa
WYCLEF JEAN DEFENDS HAITIAN PRESIDENTIAL CAMPAIGN - Speaking to NPR News today, the pop star was pressed on his qualifications for the job. "I think what makes me qualified is the fact that I am drafted by the youth, number one. I understand that to move Haiti forward, it's gonna take policies with these four pillars with five points: education, job creation, agriculture, security and healthcare. I clearly understand that. I also understand what makes me qualified is, if you have $5.2 billion sitting, which is promised by donors, somebody have [sic] to go get that money. And so you don't need just a local president. I think you need a president that's global, that's going to be moving through the globe."
On allegations that he improperly used funds allotted for his charity, Yele Haiti: "The idea of Wyclef taking money to put in his pocket, that is a no. The idea of taking personal money to give to my family, that is a no... The idea of Wyclef being corrupted is a no."
BLUE DOGS SCRAMBLE FOR NEW MEMBERS - The House Blue Dog Coalition -- which is kind of like the Tea Party Caucus before its DNA was permanently mutated during a botched trial run of its experimental energy source, resulting in a life of marauding terror in which it indiscriminately inflicts pain on hapless innocents with its hybrid photon-arm cannons, a pathetic shadow of its former self -- is in need of some new blood. "The list of outgoing Blue Dogs outpaces the 110th Congress, when the only Blue Dog who retired was Alabama Rep. Bud Cramer. Texas Rep. Nick Lampson, Florida Rep. Tim Mahoney and Louisiana Rep. Don Cazayoux - all freshmen - lost their campaigns for re-election." Alex Isenstadt in Politico: http://politi.co/arAhys
A new poll from Rasmussen indicates the race for Judd Gregg's New Hampshire Senate seat is the Republicans' to lose. Former state AG Kelly Ayotte holds a commanding lead over Democratic Rep. Paul Hodes 51% to 38%. This is in keeping with surveys this year that regularly show Ayotte with a roughly ten-point lead over Hodes. http://bit.ly/8X0Iav
CHARLIE CRIST/JOHN BOEHNER NEWS UPDATE ® , BROUGHT TO YOU BY SUNQUEST WOLFF ® BRAND TANNING BEDS - The first from Charlie Crist, who can now add Democratic pollster and walking anti-matter Mark Penn as a supporter. Penn and his wife Nancy are throwing a $4,800-a-plate fundraiser for the Florida governor and independent Senate candidate. The St. Petersburg Times has the invite: http://bit.ly/aNWVQ0
We're worried that we might not be able to include John Boehner in the Charlie Crist/John Boehner News Update ® brought you by Sunquest Wolff ® brand tanning beds anymore. Boehner's opponent, Justin Coussoule has a new ad highlighting the minority leader's frequent trips to golf courses. While this is meant to suggest that Boehner is an out-of-touch lawmaker, we're worried because it implies that Boehner's orange tint might, through some freakish melanin-related condition, actually be the result of sun exposure. Sam Stein: "The spot, paid for by Blue America and Americans for America and drawing heavily from the MasterCard commercial theme, is airing in Boehner's home district on behalf of his Democratic challenger: attorney and West Point graduate Justin Coussoule. 'Rounds of golf: 100 plus. Golf expenses: $83,000. Membership at all male club: $75,000. Special interest travel including golf junkets: $159,000. Raising the retirement age to 70 and voting to end unemployment benefits: priceless'" http://huff.to/b0dotB
Also taking note of the minority leader's appearance today was the Morning Joe crew. Speaking of the fake-bookshelf backdrop the Minority Leader was seated in front of on 'Meet the Press,' Scarborough said, "He's a chameleon. He's using his special Vader powers to blend into the fake bookcases there." http://huff.to/c1lVNw
SHARRON ANGLE WON'T TAKE MONEY FROM GAY RIGHTS SUPPORTERS, TAKES MONEY FROM GAY RIGHTS SUPPORTERS - After months of speculation about whether she is fit for public office, Sharron Angle is at long last demonstrating her political bona fides by saying one thing and doing another. Center for Responsive Politics says Angle "recently told a conservative group that she'd refuse contributions from political action committees of corporations supporting 'equal rights for gays' or offer benefits to 'partners' of homosexual employees. Angle, to date, hasn't raised a dime from any corporate PAC, but according to a Center for Responsive Politics analysis, she has taken at least $8,900 from leaders of companies known to offer employee benefits to same-sex spouses or that operate in jurisdictions that recognize marriage between same-sex couples."
Mike Huckabee has joined Sarah Palin in endorsing Lisa Murkowski's primary opponent, Joe Miller. In a statement released on the Huck PAC website, the former Arkansas governor and potential 2012 candidate said, "Actually knowing how a national law will impact people at the local level is what sets Joe apart. In fact, that unique knowledge provides Joe with insight into which bills will help Alaskans and which bills with hurt Alaskans. With the federal government encroaching quickly into every aspect of our lives - we need Joe in the U.S. Senate to help Congress make the correct decisions to bring Washington back to the limited role envisioned by the Founding Founders. There is no doubt that Joe will work to help restore Constitutional limits on Federal power." http://bit.ly/9whVat
DR-A-A-A-A-M-A @cbellantoni: Dino Rossi announces Tom Coburn is backing his candidacy. Reminder, Sarah Palin supports Clint Didier.
GOP DISSOCIATING ITSELF WITH 14TH AMENDMENT - We've all had that conversation -- the "yeah, if I were alive during the Civil War era I would be a Republican" talk. It's a position taken by progressively-inclined middle schoolers everywhere -- a rite of passage meant to absolve oneself of partisanship and to demonstrate one's racial sensitivity. Of course we'd all be Republicans in the 1860s and 1870s. Sure, they held a lot of disgusting beliefs but it was better than the alternative and we wouldn't want to throw away our vote during that volatile period... we'd be savvy 19th-century political operators. Lincoln was a Republican! They opposed slavery! They modernized the Constitution! They popularized mutton chops! Turns out there is a group of people who appear uneasy with the Reconstruction-era GOP: Republicans. Sam Stein notes that New Hampshire Senate candidate Kelly Ayotte is now the fourth Republican Senate candidate to voice concerns over the amendment which grants citizenship to anyone born in the United States. http://huff.to/a0F4SQ
Huzzahs are in order for a number of Steny Hoyer staffers. From a release: "Hoyer has promoted Katie Grant to Communications Director, hired Daniel Reilly as Press Secretary, promoted Maureen Beach to Deputy Press Secretary, and hired Mariel Saez as Press Assistant." Requests for lighthearted anecdotes or nifty factoids about the employees in question from Hoyer's office weren't answered.
Can gang violence win the morning? Politico's new D.C. local news site, TBD, looks to answer that question. Check it out!. http://www.tbd.com
@mikemadden: Why did NewsChannel 8 sponsor @mikeallen's Playbook on the day Allbritton renamed the channel TBD TV? http://bit.ly/avoA6e
A rough day at the Portland Press Herald: http://bit.ly/9ElZ8z
Levi Johnston is getting his own reality series, TMZ reports. Word is the show will follow Levi to his speaking engagements across the country, where he will implore adolescent boys to refrain from unprotected sex and encourage them to treat women with respect...totally kidding. The show is being filmed in LA and Alaska. http://bit.ly/cxUH2q
Here's your chance to prove wrong the saying that Washington is Hollywood for ugly people. "Transformers 3 will be shooting in DC later this summer, and the city's Office of Motion Picture and Television Development is looking for extras. If you're interested, send a photo of yourself and some other information to email@example.com. They're also interested in your car, and you get bonus points if you've done 'precision driving.'" Awesome DC: http://bit.ly/aZnbK8
JEREMY THE INTERN'S WEATHER REPORT - Tonight: Slight cooling after 7p.m. or so. It should be delightful if anyone is going to see a concert tonight COUGH Counting Crows at Wolf Trap COUGH . Tomorrow: The heat rises, as you can expect high-90s, approaching 100. It's going to be a brutal day. You know what to do. Thanks, JB!
- Justin Bieber's head, meet water bottle. Water bottle, meet Justin Bieber's head. http://bit.ly/d8gZgN
- Reader Laura sends along wordle.net, which lets you create your own word clouds. http://bit.ly/WXjW
- Falling from a Wii Fit board will make you a sex addict, says woman who fell from a Wii Fit board and became a sex addict. http://bit.ly/9YJEBj
- Some things are so American they deserve their own constitutional amendment. This is one of those things. http://bit.ly/chZZeg
- At long last, Lando Calrissian gets the blaxploitation film he so richly deserves. http://bit.ly/bK7GTx
- Reader Erica sent us this alarming/cute video of young kids getting a bit too excited about taking down a deer. http://bit.ly/9py6vf
- The worse grammer nazi EVAR!!. http://bit.ly/9vkbjs
- In case you were wondering where catnip comes from and what the people who make it are like, wonder no more . http://bit.ly/aqcZhd
- Step Up 7: That Really Old Breakdancing Lady On The Boardwalk. http://bit.ly/dCZ260
@AdamSerwer: If gays are allowed to eat hamburgers, my hamburger won't be special. Hamburgers are one of the great ideas of Western Civ
@daveweigel: The real question: Does Rand Paul think restaurants can discriminate against people who worship Aqua Buddha?
@pourmecoffee: Rand Paul apparently practitioner of Jamaican Libertarianism.
@KagroX: Aqua Buddha was definitely the lamest of the Buddha Friends. I don't know how Bat Buddha, Super Buddha and Wonder Buddha put up with him.
@peeweeherman: Partied with Lorenzo Lamas last night at Sturgis. No big deal. http://yfrog.com/28xj2j
TONIGHT: Steve Scalise and Chris Van Hollen talked spending on Hardball. Joe Sestak and the debonair Sam Stein appear on the Ed Show. Our fearless leader Arianna Huffington stops by Countdown. Bill Weir's interviews Linda McMahon on his first show as Nightline co-anchor. TOMORROW: George Miller previews the state aid vote on Daily Rundown.
6:30 pm - 8:30 pm: For those of you lucky enough to get out of work on time, the Cary Grant Film Festival Film Series screens "Bringing Up Baby" [National Theater, 1321 Pennsylvania Ave NW].
8:30 pm - 10:30 pm: The Crystal Screen Star Trek Outdoor Film Festival features "Star Trek Nemesis" [18th and South Bell Streets, Arlington].
6:30 pm: City at Peace, an organization that teaches kids conflict resolution, hosts a fundraiser to help keep it afloat. If it doesn't raise $25,000 by September, it will go under. If that doesn't do it for you, how about half off hamburgers and pork sliders [Angles Bar and Billiards, 2339 18th Street NW].
8:30 pm - 10:30 pm: Another outdoor movie option, this time just off of U Street. The U Street Movie Series presents "The Soloist" [Harrison Recreation Center, 1330 V Street NW].
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