Al Qaeda confirmed that Osama bin Laden is in Hell, the only thing bleaker than a Golden Corral on a Saturday night. The first GOP presidential debate indicates the Republican primary will be won or lost on heroin and pizza chains. And as Americans mark the 50th anniversary of the Freedom Riders, Republicans are preparing to anoint the next heroes in the fight for civil rights: Booz Allen Hamilton executives. This is HUFFPOST HILL for Friday, May 6th, 2011:
Playbook led with "West Wing Week" this morning. Only a BOLD political tip sheet would drop some government propaganda right out of the gate. Take it away, Chairman.
OBAMA TO DELIVER IMMIGRATION SPEECH NEXT WEEK AT THE BORDER - In keeping with Emma Lazarus' famous exhortation to "Give us your tired, your poor, your terrorist anchor babies yearning to undo American society from the inside," in a speech in El Paso on Tuesday, President Obama will propose that America overhaul its current immigration system. Hoping to capitalize on his newfound popularity as the country's foremost dispenser of righteous death, the president will propose a pathway to citizenship that could enfranchise millions of immigrants currently residing in the U.S. "As I think I said earlier this week," Jay Carney said today, "the fact that we were not able to achieve that in the first two years only means that we need to refocus our efforts and try to find that compromise." Hear that, Latinos? The failure to follow through on a campaign promise is a reason to reelect the president.
AL QAEDA CONFIRMS BIN LADEN'S DEATH, CLEARLY IN ON THE CONSPIRACY - The world's most reviled terrorist organization has confirmed that its leader is, in fact, living in a place where all your Twitter followers are tweetbots with pictures of lonely-looking women and names like "pamr3203." In a statement, the group -- in its typical cheery way -- vowed to continue its destructive mission. "Soon -- with help from Allah -- their happiness will turn into sorrow, and their blood will be mixed with their tears," it said, apparently ripping off Allen West's campaign slogan. The group added that it will "continue on the path of jihad, the path walked upon by our leaders ... without hesitation or reluctance." Do you think the head al Qaeda communications guy handled this one? Or did he let an eager al Qaeda intern take a crack at it? Also, how do they disseminate these things? Do they spam reporters with formulaic emails? "Hi there! You might not remember, but we met at that Time/Forbes party last week. Thought you might be interested in al Qaeda's statement about the Godless infidels' latest trespass against Islam. Thanks!" [CNN]
Jesuits, known in Washington as the guys who keep Georgetown students from having sex, are about to have their profile raised. Speaker John Boehner has named Rev. Patrick J. Conroy to be the next House chaplain. He will succeed Rev. Daniel Coughlin, who retired last month. Conroy currently teaches theology at Jesuit High School in Portland, Oregon and used to serve as chaplain at ... yep ... Georgetown University. [Roll Call]
DAILY DELANEY DOWNER - For workers age 55 and up, the economy is adding jobs and the unemployment rate is low. But older workers who do lose their jobs face a tough situation: an average jobless spell that now lasts longer than a year. [HuffPost]
NEW HAMP NUMBERS FOR MARCH! The Obama administration released the latest numbers for its signature anti-foreclosure effort, the sad Home Affordable Modification Program. Since April 2009, 1.5 million homeowners started trial mods, 750k trials have been canceled, while 670k permanent mods have been started and 83k permanent ones have been canceled. Still haven't reached equilibrium between HAMP Hope and HAMP Hell, but Hope is SLOWLY gaining.
BETTER LATE THAN NEVER - Democrats in the Tennessee General Assembly introduced legislation yesterday to restore the state's eligibility for the federal Extended Benefits program, which provides the final 20 weeks of bennies for the long term unemployed and which lapsed in April with no public debate. Bill sponsor Rep. Craig Fitzhugh (D) told HuffPost he got moving on the bill after hearing about the issue from a jobless constituent who'd lost his benefits. "It's certainly something in my opinion we should move forward on," Fitzhugh said. The lapse prematurely cut off EB for some 28,000 Tennesseans whose elected leaders offered no decent explanation for what happened.
Account deactivated: The LAST Barack Obama Facebook feed.
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OBAMA TO REPORTEDLY SIGN DISCLOSE ACT EXECUTIVE ORDER NEXT WEEK - According to a very angry blog post by The Examiner's Conn Carroll, President Obama will shove Democracy in the trunk of his car, drive it to a leaky warehouse and dispassionately execute it when he signs an executive order enacting multiple provisions of the DISCLOSE Act. The order will require companies that do business with the federal government to disclose campaign contributions to candidates and third-party groups. Scribbles Carroll: "According to a Congressional Research Service review of Executive Orders over the last 40 years, no White House has ever issued an EO dealing with campaign finance. Signing the DISCLOSE Act EO would be an unprecedented power grab by Obama." [Examiner]
House Republicans, concerned that President Obama will in fact sign the order, thereby dropping Lady Liberty into a giant vat of socialist acid, sent him a letter today. The order would be "a blatant attempt to intimidate, and potentially silence, certain speakers who are engaged in their constitutionally protected right to free speech," according to the correspondence signed by 21 Republicans, including Eric Cantor and Kevin McCarthy. Maybe it's just us, but don't expect any Clint Eastwood-directed projects in the near future telling the brave tale of the Halliburton Five's quest for civil rights. [The Hill]
JOBS REPORT: GOVERNMENT JOBS ON THE WANE, REPUBLICANS UPSET - One of the least spinnable job reports in recent memory was released this morning. While the unemployment rate in April ticked up to 9 percent from 8.8 percent, the economy added 244,000 jobs in that same period, the largest one-month increase since early last year (not including months that counted all those temporary Census jobs). That number far exceeded economists' expectations of 186,000. What's more, the increase in the jobless rate is likely the result of people finally realizing life isn't totally hopeless, brushing the Cheetos flakes off of their chest and getting of the couch to attempt to reenter the job market. However government jobs -- federal, state and municipal -- fell for the sixth straight month, with a total of 24,000 shed in April. That makes John Boehner's statement seem slightly out of whack. "While any improvement is welcome news, job growth in America is still nowhere close to what it should be," he said. "Our economy continues to suffer from the uncertainty being caused for private-sector job creators by the Democrats who run Washington." [Reuters/HuffPost]
Austan Goolsbee, in an interview with Zach Carter: "It's clearly a trend...We've had in the last 3 months, an average gain of a quarter of a million private-sector jobs a month. That could not be more different than the three-quarters of a million jobs we were losing when the president took office."
FIRST GOP DEBATE GOES OFF WITHOUT A HITCH, PURPOSE - The Republican B Squad was out in full force last night as the Vinnie Johnsons of GOP politics convened in South Carolina to make noises with their mouths and basically not be Mitt Romney. Also Ron Paul talked about about how legalizing heroin wouldn't be that bad. Jon Ward: "It may have been the moment when former New Mexico Gov. Gary Johnson extended his riff about how his reality TV show would be different from Sarah Palin's 'crawling on her hands and knees up the ice floe in Alaska.' Or perhaps it was when Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas) explained why not everyone would use heroin if it were legalized. Either way, the Libertarian-minded iconoclasts who bookended the stage here Thursday night at the first Republican presidential primary debate provided plenty of highlights and some substance, but also took the forum wildly off track at times." [HuffPost]
Jason Linkins and Ben Craw trimmed the fat by putting together a video of the best (and worst) moments of last night's debate.
My Pet Goat ... er ... Porterhouse: John Boehner skipped the debate and instead ate some steak. "Hotsheet spotted Boehner at Morton's The Steakhouse on Connecticut Avenue in Washington enjoying a bottle of Cabernet - and a couple of cigarettes. Speaking of the debate, Boehner told Hotsheet that he will 'read about it tomorrow.' 'There's more time for people to get in,' he added." [CBS News]
Former Louisiana Governor and newly-minted White House candidate Buddy Roemer was denied entrance to the debate despite paying the $25,000 entry fee. Fox News' explanation for the snub was that he hasn't been polling above one percent [Editor's note: Wah wah]. Roemer's spokesman confirmed to Jon Ward that his boss "would like to try and get [the entry fee] back." [HuffPost Liveblog]
Alan Simpson flipped off AARP at a talk before the Investment Company Institute this morning. Seriously. ICI represents money people with more than $13 trillion who'd love to get their paws on Social Security. They cheered the gesture. [C-SPAN]
JIM DEMINT TRIES TO WHITEWASH HIS EVIL SOCIALIST PAST - In an interview with Dave Weigel, the South Carolina lawmaker distanced himself from the statewide health care reform instituted by then Governor Mitt Romney, who DeMint campaigned for in the 2008 primary. DeMint insisted that he won't endorse Romney unless the erstwhile state executive disowns the law. "The concept that was presented to me was the idea of moving people from government plans to private plans," he said. "That's what the goal was. That's how my conversations went, and that's how it was presented. But the way it ended up.... I cannot accept all the mandates, all the government exchanges. And it hasn't worked." As Brian Beutler notes, DeMint actually ENDORSED Romney BECAUSE of the health care law. "[Romney] has demonstrated, when he stepped into government in a very difficult state, that he could work in a difficult partisan environment, take some good conservative ideas, like private health insurance, and apply them to the need to have everyone insured," DeMint said in 2007. "Those kind of ideas show an ability to bring people together that we haven't seen in national politics for a while. We don't need the nation to be more polarized." Oops! [TPM]
BECAUSE YOU'VE READ THIS FAR - Mean statue refuses to play fetch with a very excited dog. WHAT A MONSTER.
DNC DIDN'T REGISTER "GUTSY CALL" DOMAIN AND HAVE IT REDIRECT TO OBAMA 2012 - Despite a Weekly Standard item that claimed otherwise, the president's reelection campaign did not, in a fit of post-bullet-in-Osama's-eye euphoria, purchase "GutsyCall.com." Notes Sam Stein: "The creator of the website, indeed, appears to havecloaked the registration details, making him or her completely anonymous. The server is located in Scottsdale, Arizona (which says little about the website itself) and was purchased from GoDaddy.com." It would've been a lot funnier if www.ABigFuckingDeal.com redirected to this. [HuffPost]
Donald Trump is kind of a sleaze, reports Marcus Baram
KEVIN THE INTERN'S 'THIS DAY IN HISTORY' - May 6th, 1933: President Roosevelt Helps Nation Get Jobs By Giving Them All Jobs : When the stock market crashed in October 1929, unemployment went up to 25 percent. Feeling the need to help people, President Roosevelt came up with the idea of having people work for the government and named it the Works Progress Administration, part of The New Deal. This noble proposition of having people build public works projects or provide essential services in exchange for a living wage may have seemed like socialism at the time, but it gave over eight million citizens a job. Roosevelt defended his New Deal by later saying, "Providing useful work is superior to any and every kind of dole," as if just giving out money was a better idea. Critics couldn't attack the WPA for long, though, because World War II started, and Congress ended it in 1943, since most Americans had honest factory jobs or were enlisted. But we'll always have LaGuardia Airport as a reminder of those bygone infrastructure days. Thanks, KB
- Robot plays Angry Birds. It's like the Deep Blue of people who can't pay attention to their work. [http://tcrn.ch/lxwvfF]
- Word is movie theaters are having a had time selling those grating pre-preview commercials. [http://bit.ly/mGp29C]
- Cannes Film Festival posters through the years. You can practically smell the sea air and feel the feigned excitement for some celebrity's latest vanity project [http://bit.ly/ijS27x]
- First-person view of a snowmobile crash. So just in case you're having a bad day ... watch. [http://chzb.gr/j0cZuc]
- "Bills banning bestiality, baggy pants pass in Fla." [http://on.msnbc.com/m19No1]
- Just about the worst outcome of a magic trick imaginable. Definitely going to get blackballed by the Magicians' Alliance. [http://bit.ly/mMvd98]
- The inevitable (?) rap-ization of President Obama's bin Laden speech. [http://bit.ly/lFM74Q]
- The most restrictive coupon for anything ... EVER. [http://bit.ly/ld1G6H]
@tinadupuy I love Rick Santorum: He's like Sarah Palin but without the wit or sex appeal.
@FakeAPStyleBook: Please proofread your feature titles. We don't need more letters from people reminding us that Mothra's Day isn't until August.
@NickBaumann: .@allthingsct Yeah. Like raaaaaaiinnnn on your wedding day, or a drooooooone strike when you've already prayed.
Today - Tomorrow: OF COURSE the Louisiana senator who was embroiled in a sex scandal is taking his donors on a weekend retreat to the biggest gambling event of the year. David Vitter shpeherds his walking, talking ATM machines to the Kentucky Derby [Louisville, KY].
Tomorrow, 9:00 pm: Les Savy Fav perform at Black Cat. We like them a lot, but don't really know how to describe their sound. All Music says one of their styles is "Math Rock" ... whatever that is [Black Cat 1811 14th Street NW].
Monday, 11:30 am - 12:30 pm: Forget his district, Frank Lucas ditches his dusty Oklahoma home town for the mean streets of Chicago. KraftPAC and McDonald's PAC hosts, so this is an Agribusiness affair ... not unlike the agriculture committee he chairs [Fulton's on the River, 315 North La Salle Drive, Chicago, IL].
Monday, 6:00 pm - 8:00 pm: Carolyn Maloney is the guest of honor at a "a very special event in Queens." The invite doesn't speicify why it's "very special" but this being Queens, will just assume that it involves a Greek diner and the sounds of airplanes [Dazies Restaurant, 39-41 Queens Boulevard, Sunnyside, NY].
Monday, 8:30 pm: Dirty Beaches, probably the most aggressively lo-fi band making the rounds right now, performs at Black Cat. It's like if Yo La Tengo performed in space [Black Cat, 1811 14th Street NW].
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