POLITICS

HUFFPOST HILL - High-Profile Attempt At Bipartisanship Fails, How Are You Coping?

Mitt Romney admitted that he once tried beer, probably because he dabbled in that most destructive of gateway drugs: pretzels. Somewhere, Netflix's CEO is being informed that he doesn't have to write an apologetic mass email about the super committee's failure. Newt Gingrich wants child labor laws repealed so the neighborhood kids who throw footballs into his yard will be kept busy at work ... sewing footballs. And what do you get for the jackboot who has everything this holiday season? Why, the Defense Technology 56895 MK-9 Stream, 1.3% Red Band/1.3% Blue Band pepper spray used by that UC Davis cop, of course! It's available on Amazon! This is HUFFPOST HILL for Monday, November 21st, 2011:

SUPER COMMITTEE ADMITS DEFEAT - Playbook dedicated itself to mourning the loss of the super committee on Sunday. Here at HuffPost Hill, it's nothing but bubbly. The release we've been waiting for: "We are deeply disappointed that we have been unable to come to a bipartisan deficit reduction agreement, but as we approach the uniquely American holiday of Thanksgiving, we want to express our appreciation to every member of this committee, each of whom came into the process committed to achieving a solution that has eluded many groups before us." Huzzah! The release then goes on to thank some staffers whose deeply-held convictions and/or inability to do their jobs may have saved you from having to take care of your parents in their old age. Thank you, principled and/or incompetent staffers!

Obama's pissed: The president just announced in the briefing room that he will veto any attempt to repeal the automatic spending cuts. But note that he's not blaming "Congress" or "Washington" like he used to. Now he's made at "Republicans."

Super Rep. Fred Upton was spotted exiting Super Senator Rob Portman's office through a sidedoor, and then the staked-out reporters gave chase today. As they quickened their pace, so did he, until Upton was actually running away from the media, Mike McAuliff tells us.

WE WANT CAUSALITY!!!!11 - @JesseRodriguez: Standard & Poor's says US credit rating unaffected by super committee failure

REPUBLICANS ALREADY CAPITALIZING ON SUPER COMMITTEE'S FAILURE, WHEN NOT RUNNING AWAY - EASE UP, REPUBLICANS!!!! The super committee is simply too ahead of its time. In 20 years, hipsters will look back and think of it as a success. You will get your glory yet, Max Baucus. Don't worry. Mike McAuliff: "Republicans have already begun campaigning on the Super Committee's impending failure by blaming Democrats in a blast email Monday morning. 'Without fail, Democrats have refused to get serious about restoring fiscal accountability in Washington as they show a blatant lack of interest in giving up their limitless credit card that has spiraled America's debt out of control,' said National Republican Congressional Committee spokesman Paul Lindsay in an email aimed at Rep. Heath Shuler (D-N.C.). Shuler was not a member of the 12-member Joint Committee On Deficit Reduction, but was a leader of a 'Go Big' coalition that advised the Super Committee to aim for at least $4 trillion in deficit cuts, not just the minimum $1.2 trillion. But Shuler, a conservative Democrat from a tough swing district, was among 50 members of Congress targeted in the email." [HuffPost]

"Without fail"? Seemed like there was plenty of fail.

A top investigator for Darrell Issa, Ben Cole, is, of course, going to work for an organization dedicated to bashing renewable energy, The Hill reports.

DAILY GRIMLANEY DOWNER - The super committee's failure has left behind a house full of orphans that Congress must find a way to deal with before January 1, or else taxes will soar on the middle class, jobless benefits will expire and doctors will see their reimbursement rate slashed by nearly a third, threatening elderly access to health care. Congressional leaders haven't said what exactly they plan to do now that the committee has failed, but lawmakers might be able to save these policies by attaching them to a new "continuing resolution" to fund government operations when the current CR expires on Dec. 16. If Congress doesn't get it done somehow or other, 1.8 million people out of work longer than six months will see their unemployment benefits run out in January. And assorted plagues. [HuffPost]

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NEWT GINGRICH HEARS AMERICA SINGING, AND HE REALLY WISHES IT WOULD KEEP THE RACKET DOWN - Newt Gingrich is ratcheting up the old man grumpiness like whoa. Forget reporters or the media or the OMB, now the former House speaker doesn't like child labor laws. Really. He actually called them "a joke" recently. "It is tragic what we do in the poorest neighborhoods, entrapping children in, first of all, child laws, which are truly stupid," he said on Friday, according to CNN. "Most of these schools ought to get rid of the unionized janitors, have one master janitor and pay local students to take care of the school. The kids would actually do work, they would have cash, they would have pride in the schools, they'd begin the process of rising." He continued: "You're going to see from me extraordinarily radical proposals to fundamentally change the culture of poverty in America." We give it a week before he's railing against...actually, there's nothing more ridiculous than railing against child labor laws. Well played, Newt ::flicks king down on chess board::. [HuffPost]

ROMNEY WIN - "Congressman Charlie Bass will endorse the GOP presidential candidacy of former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney on Monday, The Telegraph has confirmed. Bass will make it official when Romney tours the BAE Systems plant on Spit Brook Road in Nashua and then addresses employees. Romney will also answer questions from The Telegraph editorial board later Monday. The announcement marks the second key endorsement in as many days for Romney, who on Sunday secured the endorsement of U.S. Sen. Kelly Ayotte at a Nashua City Hall rally. Romney and Ayotte took turns bashing President Barack Obama’s record on jobs, the economy and military spending on the City Hall steps after Ayotte announced her endorsement. 'Mitt Romney has proven through his experience as a successful businessman, effective governor, and by his excellent presidential debate performances that he is best prepared to lead our country and ensure Barack Obama is a one-term president,' Ayotte said." [Nashua Telegraph]

@kenvogel: Oops. @HowardKurtz quotes NPR sting maestro "Simon Templar" extensively w/ out mentioning that the name is a pseudonym: http://t.co/4iQ7c3yc

GROVER NORQUIST INVITED TO LIBERAL MEET AND GREET - And, much to our surprise, he wasn't ambushed, tied up and transported with a black cloth over his head to an undisclosed empty room with a single light bulb hanging from a string in the middle. #Bipartisanship. Sam Stein: "[L]ast week, Norquist was an invited guest and featured speaker at this year’s Democracy Alliance summit -- an annual gathering of some of the country's most well-to-do liberals. The meeting, which was reported by the New Yorker on Friday, took place at the headquarters of Media Matters For America, the media watchdog group started by David Brock. What Norquist actually said at the meeting wasn’t entirely clear, mainly because attendees sign a standard non disclosure form and are closely guarded while the festivities are taking place. One source who was in the room, however, tells The Huffington Post that the organizers brought Norquist in simply to pick his brain. The head of Americans for Tax Reform, Norquist oversees the most enduring "pledge" in Washington D.C. -- a vow by Republican lawmakers to reject all forms of tax increases. Envious progressives wanted to understand how he had inspired such loyalty." [HuffPost]

TOMORROW'S GOP DEBATE TO BRAVELY INCORPORATE TWO THINGS NO ONE CARES ABOUT: FOREIGN POLICY AND CNN - Michael Calderone: "Sam Feist, CNN's Washington bureau chief and senior vice president, unsurprisingly doesn't think there have been too many debates. He contends that each builds on the last to provide as much information as possible to Republican primary voters. 'There may be questions that naturally follow from the last debate that we can explore in the next debate,' Feist said. 'So, in many ways, one debate is a continuation of the last debate.'...Blitzer, for one, is expected to keep the eight GOP candidates focused primarily on national security and foreign policy -- both of which have been trumped this year by domestic issues in all but the CBS/National Journal debate. And to help drill down where the candidates stand, CNN has teamed up with two prominent conservative think tanks, the American Enterprise Institute and Heritage Foundation." [HuffPost]

CLASS IRONYFARE - "The 89 employees of a New York law firm specializing in foreclosures who dressed as homeless people during an office Halloween party last year have been thrown out on the street. Steven J. Baum P.C., a firm that specialized in foreclosures, is closing its doors a month after photos showing employees celebrating Halloween by dressing like the homeless surfaced in a New York Times column by Joe Nocera. Noerca wrote a follow up column this weekend, in which he quoted an angry email he received from Mr. Baum himself. The firm announced the shuttering via press release and was reported by the NYT." [TPM]

YOU CAN GO ON AMAZON AND BUY THE PEPPER SPRAY USED BY THAT UC DAVIS COP - "Defense Technology 56895 MK-9 Stream, 1.3% Red Band/1.3% Blue Band Pepper Spray... Ships from and sold by EarthFair...Ordering for Christmas? Based on the shipping schedule of EarthFair, choose Standard at checkout for delivery by December 24...The world's most widely used pepper spray in law enforcement and corrections [Amazon Via @PoliticalWire]

::PUTS HEAD IN HANDS, BEGINS TO QUESTION MOST DEEPLY HELD BELIEFS, WEEPS SOFTLY::- "A bombshell revelation in the upcoming issue of "People" magazine: Mitt Romney has, in fact, tasted alcohol, and also tried a cigarette, despite the Mormon Church’s prohibitions on drinking and smoking." [Politico]

BECAUSE YOU'VE READ THIS FAR - Panda puddle.

JEREMY'S WEATHER REPORT - So, what explains the miserable weather? There's an occluded (stalled) front just to our south. The mix of a warm and cold front is leaving us with higher temperatures, but all the lovely clouds and miserableness. It won't be going anywhere anytime soon, so hold on to your umbrellas and rain coats. Tomorrow: All this, plus thunderstorms! Oh wait, that should not have sounded as happy as it seemed. Oh well. Thanks, JB!

COMFORT FOOD

- Clown convention is silly and heartwarming. Please, listen to Big Cheeks' message of world peace. [http://huff.to/uqHVZv]

- Pepper spray cop is your new favorite meme. [http://youtu.be/2qpfrwYOgdU?t=1m5s]

- #ThingsOneCanDoWithASnakeThatCanNeverBeUnseen [http://huff.to/sWPlOx]

- Depressed about the super committee's failure? Let auto-tuned Neil deGrasse Tyson cheer you up...and excite you about SCIENCE. [http://huff.to/vvGPax]

- One of the last 30 or so people still making traditional Japanese swords. [http://youtu.be/PSZKGzGqOt0]

- Man undertakes quest to grow his facial hair in every style imaginable. [http://huff.to/tAFfru]

- Did somebody say, "Pimp my Mario Kart?" Yes. Somebody did. [http://huff.to/vVj8Q1]

- Improve your understanding of the universe. -OR- The universe is terrifying. [http://bit.ly/rLGmJI]

TWITTERAMA

@theharryshearer: Perry: "As a former individual who's worn the uniform of the US Air Force"... I hope he becomes an individual again soon.

@SuzyKhimm: So is this where the band breaks up, but some of the old members get together to form a new, better, deficit-cuttier band? #supercommittee

@ryanbeckwith: Romney "tasted a beer" and "tried a cigarette once" as teen...Coincidentally, as a teen-ager John Boehner once tried not smoking a cigarette.

@marionbarryjr: I believe in the power of God --And just like Jesus, the Redskins are coming back!

ON TAP

TONIGHT

7:00pm: Celebrity chef Jose Andres holds a discussion on "America Eats: Sustainable Agriculture." Also speaking are Deputy Agriculture Secretary Kathleen Merrigan and Ann Harvey Yonkers, co-director at FreshFarm Markets. [National Archives, 700 Pennsylvania Avenue NW]

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