Who says you need raucous town hall meetings to liven up recess? America's congressional aspirants proved today that all it takes is a little determination, elbow grease, and the ability to turn Nancy Pelosi into a pterodactyl. Another surefire way to juice up break, we found out, is to sound the alarm about the White House's Sharira-promoting Ramadan celebrations. Failing that, try tuning to the Discovery Channel, whose pro-human programming we find thoroughly illuminating. This is HuffPost Hill for September 1st, 2010:

DISCOVERY CHANNEL HOSTAGE UPDATE - An anti-human (but especially anti-immigrant) ecoterrorist stormed the Discovery Channel offices this afternoon to protest its programming, even suggesting alternative approaches the station could take or possible game shows it could run. The guy seemed most upset at TLC's glorification of families that can't stop having children, and the network's modern-weapon porn, but his demand of their new programming asks too much: "MAKE IT INTERESTING SO PEOPLE WATCH AND APPLY SOLUTIONS!!!!" In his demand letter -- which includes a "WTF?" -- he declares that he is antiwar not because war kills too many people -- there are too many, he argues -- but because plants and animals get hurt in the process. His entire screed:

Lee was shot by police, though word on his condition wasn't available at press time. No hostages were hurt. The latest here:

So Is This Guy A Lefty, Or What?: Because, of course, in America it's not enough for a guy just to be plain nuts, a debate about where on the political spectrum James Lee sits immediately broke out on the twittersphere, with lefties pointing to his anti-immigration stuff to hang a right-wing tag on him, and righties pointing to everything else he said. Ruled Arthur Delaney in a quip we're putting on the record: "We're gonna have to eat this one, guys." (Just for the record, HuffPost Hill condemns all types of violence directed at media outlets housed in the Washington area.)

ALAN SIMPSON'S UDDERGATE CONTINUES - Alan Simpson should be happy: the women's rights advocate he told to get back to him once she'd found "honest work!" is leaving her job as head of the Older Women's League to be a senior staffer at the Senate Special Committee on Aging. Simpson, a former Republican Senator from Wyoming, was previously the chairman of the committee. Carson confirmed her honest job movement to HuffPost Hill but declined to comment. Last week, Simpson sent Carson an email disparaging Social Security recipients and calling the program "a milk cow with 310 million tits!" Simpson is co-chair of President Obama's deficit commission and calls for his resignation have mounted. The White House is standing by its co-chair and has accepted an apology he offered to Carson, though Carson herself is still calling for him to step down. Simpson has been a prolific letter writer, having also fired off an angry note to economist Dean Baker. A third angry letter has surfaced. Provided to HuffPost Hill, it was mailed to Joan and Merton Bernstein, members of the OWL's board, in response to a Huffington Post blog post the pair wrote in May.

The Volcker Rule has shut down a JPMorgan prop trading desk: At least one American is losing his job as a result of Wall Street reform. Bloomberg scoops the shutdown of JPMorgan's commodities prop trading desk, which "affects fewer than 20 traders, one in the U.S. and the rest in the U.K." (The traders will be able to apply for other gigs in the bank.) The guy - and we're assuming all these traders are guys - who leaked the news deliciously included the fact that coal derivatives trader Chan Bhima, whose bad bet cost the company a quarter billion dollars in the spring, wasn't fired.

Getting a jump on those articles of impeachment, author David Limbaugh is scorching his way up the Amazon rankings with his latest book, "Crimes Against Liberty: An Indictment of President Barack Obama." It's number seven now and headed for the top of the New York Times best-seller list.

POLL FINDS UNEMPLOYMENT AFFECTS THREE-QUARTERS OF AMERICANS - Ich bein ein wearing mesh shorts, eating Doritos Collisions and watching "16 And Pregnant" marathons. Mark Blumenthal: "The report, prepared by Rutgers professors Carl Van Horn and Cliff Zukin, find that 73% of Americans have either been unemployed themselves (14%) or saw an immediate family member (12%), another member of their family (30%) or a close friend (17%) lose a job. The survey also finds profound pessimism about where the economy is headed. More than half of Americans say they believe the downturn reflects a 'lasting economic change' (56%) rather than a 'temporary economic downturn' (43%). Large majorities believe that the economy will remain in recession or worse a year from now."

...and it's also being reported that CEOs of the 50 most job-cutting companies received, on average, higher bonuses than S&P 500 chiefs. No word on whether they received stimulus funds to expand the gold coin pool in Duckburg. "CEOs of the 50 U.S. firms that slashed the most jobs between November 2008 and April 2010 took in 42 percent more than the average CEO at an S&P 500 firm, according to the 17th annual Executive Excess study by the Institute for Policy Studies, a progressive Washington think tank. The study also found that 36 of the 50 layoff leaders 'announced their mass layoffs at a time of positive earnings reports,' suggesting a trend of 'squeezing workers to boost profits and maintain high CEO pay.'"

Today in NUH-UH: "Republicans are disproportionately likely to be white and highly religious. Democrats are more racially and ethnically diverse, with proportionately fewer highly religious whites." Gallup:

DAILY DELANEY DOWNER - From Arthur Delaney: "A jobless Portland man who put a whimsical spin on his employment predicament now says he's giving up his scheme to make rent by dancing in a skirt on YouTube. 'I can't call it a failure because I was able to pay September's rent thanks to your donations,' wrote Aswad, who goes by one name, in a blog post titled 'Preparing for homelessness.' 'But I, and other 99ers are no longer being heard.' Aswad's stunt won attention from local papers and TV in Portland, but after three failed job interviews this month, Aswad says he's calling it quits and researching homeless shelters. 'So that's it,' he wrote."

TODAY'S TERKEL TAKEDOWN - From Amanda Terkel: "The AFL-CIO is launching an aggressive grassroots mobilization over Labor Day weekend, aimed at distributing information and getting workers excited for the November elections. Speaking to reporters today, AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka specifically called out House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-Ohio), saying, 'We absolutely believe that when workers get the votes, there will be no Speaker Boehner.' Boehner spokesman Michael Steel, 'Rather than spending their members' hard-earned money to push Washington Democrats' job-killing agenda -- which their members oppose -- labor leaders should help the American people, who want to end the spending spree, stop the tax hikes, and create jobs.'"

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PALIN TRAILING ROMNEY AMONG ALASKA REPUBLICANS IN 2012 POLL - The PPP survey does not bode well for proponents of the Departments of Oh Yaaah, Gee Whiz, Dontcha Know and Have You Seen That Democrat Proposal? My Goodness. The group queried Alaska Republicans about their 2012 picks, only 17 percent of whom would vote for Sarah Palin in the 2012 GOP primary -- the same number that support Mike Huckabee. Mitt Romney ranks first with 20 percent. 62 percent of Republican voters don't want Palin to run. "It's not that Alaska Republicans don't like Palin- a majority of them still do. But there's a significant disconnect between GOP voters in the state liking Palin and thinking she should run for President, a divide we've seen with Republicans nationally and one that presents the biggest threat to a possible Palin candidacy. Even among voters with a favorable opinion of Palin in the state just 39% think she should launch a 2012 bid." PPP:

More home state discontent in Minnesota where voters are not exactly crazy about the prospect of a Tim Pawlenty POTUS bid. It should come as no surprise the state known for begetting both Prince and Michele Bachmann isn't unifying behind the idea of its governor running a conservative national campaign. In fact, a new poll from Minnesota Public Radio finds that 53% of the local electorate would likely not support the new, more conservative, less mullet-ed Pawlenty in 2012. Not surprisingly, 54% of respondents said they don't approve of Pawlenty's out-of-state campaigning. Minneapolis Star-Tribune:

GOP CANDIDATE EQUATES BARBARA MIKULSKI WITH FICTIONAL DINOSAUR IN NEW AD - Dan Wargotz, a Republican vying to unseat the Maryland senator, is taking aim at the incumbent in a new campaign spot. In the ad, Mikulski's face is superimposed over a t-rex's body as the announcer -- doing his best Steve Irwin -- labels her a "Political Insidersaurus." Mikulski is accused of increasing taxes and cozying up with other "insidersauruses" such as Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi (they make appearances as well, though Pelosi appears to be some sort of pterodactyl). We thoroughly enjoyed the ad, but couldn't help but notice the announcer, despite feigning an Outback twang, betrayed his Maryland accent from time to time ("Nancy Pel-o-o-oh-si," "r-oh-aming W-oh-shington with other political insidersauruses," etc). Video:

"Sometimes we forget how we became the majority. We did it by winning some affluent districts." Gerry Connolly, Democrat, deliberately trying to piss off HuffPost Hill.

MEEK HIGHLIGHTS CRIST'S REPUBLICAN PAST IN FIRST GENERAL ELECTION AD - In an attempt to bring centrist, Crist-supporting Democrats back into the fold, Kendrick Meek has unveiled a radio ad featuring clips of the Florida governor praising Republican politicians and policies. "Home is where the heart is, and for Charlie Crist, home is with the GOP," a honey-voiced announcer -- taking a break from cutting spots for Entenmann's, no doubt -- says. "I was impressed at Governor Palin being picked," Crist says in one clip. In another, he says, "President Bush is a leader of courage and conviction." With news out of Ohio that more voters prefer George W. Bush's leadership to that of Barack Obama, we're not sure how effective this strategy might be. Miami Herald:

Former Democratic candidate for Senate Jeff Greene is suing several Florida newspapers for libel. Greene, according to the Times, "is preparing to sue The St. Petersburg Times and The Miami Herald for libel, claiming that articles they published cost him his bid for the United States Senate." We wish Greene all the best as he attempts to correct such vomitous reporting. Seriously, put these malicious attacks out to sea, Jeff.

BECAUSE YOU'VE READ THIS FAR - Here's a cyclops baby turtle from Taiwan:

TOM TANCREDO: STILL CRAZY - In an interview with Talking Points Memo, the former congressman and third party candidate in the Colorado gubernatorial race reiterated some of his most views. "I remember a little thing, like Ms. Obama saying she didn't want any Christian artifacts in the White House during Christmas time," he said, before voicing his concern about "hosting Ramadan events there." Tancredo also said that Hamas is operating along the U.S.-Mexico border, people who believe the president wants to impose sharia law aren't delusional and the Park51 Islamic center is a "slap in the face."

CALIFORNIA KABUKI - The California Nurses Association sent around a release today announcing the debut of Princess Carly and Queen Meg, "two satirical figures lampooning the Republican nominees for governor and senator...Princess Carly will make her general election debut outside Wednesday's Moraga debate between Sen. Boxer and Carly Fiorina...Queen Meg, who has become an icon of this year's California election, will travel the state on Labor Day, appearing at a series of events alongside Princess Carly." When raising the level of political discourse, always remember to lift with your knees, people.

Conservatives for Congress, a third party group, is targeting Arizona Rep. Gabrielle Giffords in a heavily-edited attack ad. The spot, perhaps most notable for debuting an MS Paint video editing program we were unaware of, accuses Giffords of using congressional testimony by David Petraeus to voice concern about fossil fuels. A video of the actual hearing indicates that Giffords was actually expressing concern about unstable supply lines and questioned whether alternative sources such as solar energy could improve the delivery mechanism of the army's energy. Arizona Daily Star:

Five former governors just want their jobs back, baby girl, and promise that it'll be better this time around, just you wait. HuffPost and AP on the former state execs who are back in the political arena: "The former governors in California, Georgia, Iowa, Maryland and Oregon are betting that a dose of nostalgia for better economic times, combined with a desire among some voters for a steady, experienced hand, will help them prevail in November." Really, girl, they've been watching their drinking, talking to that shrink you recommended and taking Learning Annex classes. Just watch, girl.

Jake Ward has joined the David All Group -- a "grassroots" communications firm who's principal is a great go-to quote for reporters looking for a Republican to bash Republicans -- as its newest vice-president. Ward had previously flacked in the House and Senate and most recently was director of the Qorvis Group and vice-president of public affairs at Brodeur Partners. Ward's addition makes the shop a bit closer to an actual group.

8 Foot Shark In Potomac - Cue the K Street quips: An 8-foot shark was caught a few miles north of Point Lookout in St. Mary's County.

JEREMY THE INTERN'S WEATHER REPORT - Tonight : Hot, cloudless, humid. The air quality will be bad, and there's a pollen alert. I'm not implying that it's going to be miserable. I'm saying it's going to be miserable. Thanks, JB!

The Watch: The probability that Earl will make landfall is starting to rise, as it looks like Earl is expected to graze if not nick the Carolinas late tomorrow night. While it's doubtful that the center of the storm (the area right around the eye is the most dangerous, especially on the north east side) will make landfall, rain and moderate wind is expected as of now. Either way, by Friday afternoon, Earl will be making his way up the East Coast, and should clear out of the Virginia Beach area in time for the weekend. Whew, JB!


- America may have finally met its asymptote: deep-fried beer:

- The shower curtain that will most assuredly creep out your guests.

- Hipster paradise: 40 Bon Iver-loving virgins...and this -->

- The guy who wrote that classic "Wanted: Someone to go back in time with me" personal ad has revealed his identity and his thought process behind the listing. Thank God.

- A child's zero-sum birthday card.

- Only gentlemen or gentleladies of the utmost refinement would deign to eat their sushi with these.

- A dude who doesn't need a guitar to generate epic power chords.

- 25 percent of lap dancers have a college degree.


@McAdamsforAK: It's incredibly ironic that #SarahPalin will endorse an ivy league lawyer over a small town mayor. #aksen

@ jaketapper: Camp David, Oslo / Annapolis -- Such effort! / Wye can't they make peace? #DirectTalksHaiku

@pourmecoffee: Murkowski concedes. As I understand Alaska politics, she now becomes millionaire celebrity and rules world from Facebook.


TONIGHT: Elijah Cummings discusses the economy on the Ed Show. Richard Trumpka pays a visit to Countdown. TOMORROW: Outgoing Senator Evan Bayh appears on Morning Joe.



8:00 pm: Decamp to Wolf Trap for some world class camp. "The Sound of Music," that Rodgers and Hammerstein musical about everyone's least favorite Jew, Adolf Hitler, and the havoc he wrought on singing families, will be performed [Wolf Trap National Park for the Performing Arts, 1551 Trap Road, Vienna, VA].

10:00 pm: In case you don't have to get up early on Thursday, U Street Music Hall is hosting "Soul Controllers," providing you the opportunity to groove down to classic soul, funk, disco, house and hip-hop [U Street Music Hall, 1115 U Street NW].


8:00 am - 9:30 am: If you happen to find yourself in Smokin' Oakland, Harry Reid will be the guest of honor at a fundraising breakfast hosted by representatives from several energy giants including PG&E and Brightsource Energy. Shine on, senator [BrightSource Energy, 1999 Harrison Street Suite 2150, Oakland].

6:00 pm - 9:00 pm: Join a group of journalists, activists, bloggers and those people from college who would never flush the toilet for "environmental" reasons at "Drink Beer, Talk Climate," a monthly meet-up for greenies [Buffalo Billiards, 1330 19th Street NW].

6:30 pm: Kele of Bloc Party performs at 9:30 Club. The Law and Order of dance music: totally formulaic and totally satisfying [9:30 Club, 815 V Street NW].

6:30 pm - 8:30 pm: Lobster and beer, the Travelling Wilburys of cuisine, will be discounted at the Chinatown Coffee Company's Lobster Roll and Beer Happy Hour [Chinatown Coffee Company, 475 H Street NW].

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