Sarah Palin, Ph.D, apparently received her doctorate in Music Principle from the University of My Cousin’s Wedding Reception Playlist. Chuck Schumer mentioned “unicorn,” which is … y’know … HILARIOUS. A congressional candidate’s advert promoting brotherhood between Koreans and Jews reminds us what Spike Lee Joints would be like if Spike Lee had been lobotomized and freebasing Prozac. And speaking of the films, we realized that Tom Hagen does not clear up the messes of beleaguered Nevada senators as a token of the Corleones’ friendship. Oh well. This is HUFFPOST HILL for Thursday, Could 12th, 2011:
SENATE ETHICS COMMITTEE RELEASES ENSIGN REPORT – A man from a state where the interplay of money, sex and employment is just not solely common however legal in some locations is catching flak for mixing the three. The Senate Ethics Committee in the present day launched its report on former Nevada Senator John Ensign’s attempts to cowl up his affair with the wife of a former aide. The report claims that Ensign “made false or misleading statements to the Federal Election Commission,” violated marketing campaign laws and obstructed the panel’s investigation. It concludes that there’s “substantial and credible evidence” that Ensign broke the law. The report itself accommodates a quantity of revealing information about Ensign’s cowl-up — like how Ensign listed Cynthia Hampton as “Aunt Judy” on his cellphone — and salacious details about his affair. This one is our favorite: “Senator Ensign told Ms. Hampton that he needed to marry her whereas they attended the National Prayer Breakfast in Washington.” Yeeeeeesh. [AP]
The report alleges that Senator Tom Coburn knew of the affair and acted as a go-between as Ensign and Doug Hampton negotiated the phrases of the … um … “severance”. “Senator Ensign was informed that the affair needed to stop,” the report says of a meeting brokered by Coburn at the C Road fellowship house between Ensign and Hampton. “Mr. Hampton was very emotional in the course of the assembly, and at one level received very close to a bodily confrontation with Senator Ensign. Senator Coburn asked Mr. Hampton to go away, stating ‘we l take it from right here. We ll take care of this.'” [HuffPost’s Elise Foley]
@jbendery: Just walked by former Rep. Patrick Kennedy heading into the WH. Whats he doing here? His reply: ” Slummin, you already know.”
MERKLEY: REGULATORS DOING ZIP ON FORECLOSURES – Sens. Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.) and Olympia Snowe (R-Maine) introduced a bill Thursday to power mortgage services to give up abusing homeowners like they’ve been doing for the past three years. The invoice would give homeowners searching for modifications a single level of contact at their bank, end the crazy “dual monitor” process that lets banks pursue modifications and foreclosures simultaneously, and require third-get together assessment before a financial institution can kick a household to the curb. Why, HuffPost Hill wished to know, would they push this legislation now, shortly after federal regulators, together with the Workplace of the Comptroller of the Forex and the Federal Reserve, required precisely the identical reforms in an April enforcement order? Merkley mentioned the order wouldn’t get the job finished. t basically voluntary. It primarily says, ‘Please do this stuff,'” Merkley said. “And the servicer can hire their very own individual to test on how they e doing. It hardly hardly constitutes a strong step ahead.”
The OCC begs to differ. “These orders are usually not voluntary,” a spokesman said. “They are enforceable by federal district courts, and we will impose penalties of greater than $1 million a day for every day the financial institution is in violation of the order.” As proof the banks are taking the orders significantly, the spokesman identified that one financial institution (JPMorgan Chase) stated it might hire some three,000 employees to comply. As for that big settlement reportedly coming from a coalition of state Attorneys Common, Merkley’s not banking on it. “That may be a mirage at this level,” he mentioned. “Until it is signed and delivered it’s a hope. /p>
TESTER SWIPES DURBIN – Ben Bernanke and Sheila Bair came to testify before the Banking Committee right now, the place Jon Tester pressed them on how terrible capping debit-card swipe charges might be for banks. “I know we’re in a political process right here, and I know you’ve got probably been getting quite a lot of stress from folks — or no less than one particular person from the Senate,” Tester said.
Bernanke and Bair continued to surprise whether implementing the Durbin Modification will probably be doable; Bernanke promised to get it done, whereas Bair insisted it’d value small banks money and lead them to jack up charges on you. [HuffPost]
Greatest GOP NEW MEDIA Crew NOT GOOD – Tim Pawlenty is hoping to spike the boring brew he is serving America with some juice from his new media staff. He is off to a rough start. Yesterday’s blast to supporters misspelled the identify of National Overview’s Stanley Kurtz. Whatever. We do this shit all the time (as you never tire of reminding us). Additionally they forgot to hyperlink their donation request at the underside of the email, giving supporters nothing but a blue line. Hey, it’s your cash, you do not need government officials — previous and present — telling you what to do with it.
Speaking of which, where’s their video guy Lucas Baiano been? He is either at work on a two-our, larger-than-life opus, or Pawlenty’s dialing back the Michael Bay-esque portrayals of his lunching habits.
Day by day DELANEY DOWNER – “I’ve been out of work for a bit of over two years now. My spouse does not love me anymore; my kids do not love me.” [OverFiftyAndOutOfWork]
MITT ROMNEY MAKES EXCUSES FOR HIS STATE’S Well being CARE REFORM – Whether it is his Mormonism or his previous help for Democratic-ish health care reform, it would not be a presidential marketing campaign if Mitt Romney weren’t explaining away a central a part of himself or his history. At an tackle in Ann Arbor, the previous Massachusetts governor tried to face up for his best legislative achievement whereas additionally recasting it as a shining instance of conservative ideas … all whereas arguing that it should not be adopted by the remainder of the nation. Obtained it? “I presume that a lot of oldsters would assume that if I did that, it would be good for me politically,” he said. “But there’s just one drawback with that: It wouldn’t be sincere.” He went on to explain the person mandate as a solution to enforce “private accountability” and to keep individuals from creating a dependence on authorities well being care. He additionally had good things to say good issues about the coinsurance components of France’s well being care system (and Republicans love them!). We’re undecided how much it will soften the blow of this morning’s editorial within the Wall Road Journal that quipped Romney “may as properly try to knock off Joe Biden and get on the Obama ticket,” but, hey, does not harm to strive. [HuffPost’s Jon Ward]
NEWT GINGRICH HAD Variety Words FOR The individual MANDATE – Sam Stein: “In the mid-2000s, [Gingrich] partnered with then-Sen. Hillary Clinton (D-N.Y.) to advertise a centrist solution to fixing the nation’s well being care system. A July 22, 2005, Hotline article on one of the duo’s events described the former speaker as endorsing not simply state-primarily based mandates (the linchpin of Romney’s Massachusetts legislation) however ‘some federal mandates’ as effectively. A brand new York Sun writeup of what seems to be the identical event noted that ‘both politicians appeared to endorse proposals to require all people to have some type of well being coverage.’ Neera Tanden, an aide to Clinton on the time who went on to assist craft President Obama’s law, said she could not recall actual speeches, but ‘strongly’ believed that the both Clinton and Gingrich backed the person mandate.” [HuffPost]
RON PAUL TO ENTER REPUBLICAN Main – Texas Congressman Ron Paul will announce Friday that he’s entering the 2012 Republican presidential major. Our nation’s libertarians have been going to spend the subsequent yr constructing Danny Taggart collectible prepare units and perfecting their Yahoo! Solutions response to “Who is John Galt?” Appears like they will should postpone. Paul will make his announcement on “Good Morning America” and will then deliver a speech in Exeter, N.H. [Politico]
Ben Bernanke as we speak: assume utilizing the debt limit as a bargaining chip is kind of risky, resulting in n increase in curiosity charges, which would actually worsen our deficit and would harm all borrowers in the economy. But whatevs.
OIL EXECUTIVES TESTIFY ON CAPITOL HILL … WOO DOGGY IT Bought Rough – You know how on the Friday after Thanksgiving, local information broadcasts run b-roll of shoppers congregating en masse in front of a Walmart’s automated doors, proper before they promptly bum rush the shop upon its 4 a.m. opening? Right this moment’s Senate Finance Committee listening to was too much like these throngs of bargain hunters in Peoria. Besides instead of trampling an elderly lady in a pink cardigan, committee Democrats could not wait to stomp all over top oil industry officials in pursuit of a good sound bite. Addressing the heads of the top five largest non-public oil companies, Ron Wyden performed a 2005 clip of oil executives insisting they didn’t need tax breaks as a result of oil was at $55-a-barrel (it’s over $one hundred now). Committee member Orrin Hatch displayed an image of a horse and a dog, declaring the hearings to be “a dog and pony show.” “I know which one the horse’s ass is,” he said, before arguing that extremely profitable oil companies are merely having fun with high shopper demand and as such should not be punished. “What if a rise in demand for espresso ends in Starbucks reporting document income? … I can be doing a grave disservice to my constituents if I have been to disregard the consequences of those tax will increase.” Chuck Schumer was miffed: “Nicely, you’d have a neater time convincing the American people that a unicorn simply flew into this hearing room than that these big oil companies want taxpayer subsides. That’s the real fairy tale.” [ABC News]
Finance Committee member Jay Rockefeller, who’s — how ought to we put this delicately — a Rockefeller, also had strong phrases for the executives: “I feel you e really out of contact.”
An Exxon executive, under questioning from Maria Cantwell, says that much of the worth of oil is a result of speculation. See, it is not simply us saying it! [YouTube]
Several days after Steny Hoyer came out in opposition to the president’s impending govt order on contractor marketing campaign disclosures, Nancy Pelosi made her assist known. “I salute the president for what he did,” she said at her weekly press convention. [WaPo]
RICHARD LUGAR WITHDRAWS Supports FOR DREAM ACT, RENEWS Assist FOR BEING REELECTED – Like a relapsed addict hawking his father’s Rolex for a fix, Sen. Richard Lugar has pawned part of his agenda after getting a style of some candy, pure, uncut Senate. The DREAM Act was reintroduced to the upper chamber yesterday, with out the co-sponsorship of Lugar, who had previously lent his title to the immigration reform invoice. In a statement, Lugar’s spokesman, Mark Helmke, blamed the move on President Obama’s immigration speech, though it had as a lot affect on the DREAM Act’s provisions as a non-binding decision honoring Menudo’s contributions to Hispanic American tradition. “President Obama’s look in Texas framed immigration as a divisive election situation instead of trying a reputable debate on complete reform,” wrote Helmke. “Ridiculing Republicans was clearly a partisan push that effectively stops a productive discussion about comprehensive immigration reform and the DREAM Act before the 2012 election.” [HuffPost’s Amanda Terkel]
Sarah Palin on Frequent: “I am not anti-rap. In truth, like Bret Baier, I do know the lyrics to ‘Rapper’s Delight,’ too.”
PRESIDENT ASKS For 2-Year EXTENSION FOR ROBERT MUELLER – President Obama announced that he will search to increase FBI Director Robert Mueller’s term by two years. n his ten years on the FBI, Bob Mueller has set the gold customary for leading the Bureau,” the president said in a press release. “Given the ongoing threats going through the United States, as effectively as the management transitions at other companies just like the Protection Division and Central Intelligence Company, I imagine continuity and stability on the FBI is important right now.” After J. Edgar Hoover’s forty eight-year reign on the Bureau of Investigation/Federal Bureau of Investigation, administrators’ terms have been limited to ten years to curb their power. Let’s watch out, although: A number of more years and Mueller will begin disseminating rumors that Adlai Stevenson is gay, spying on civil rights leaders and donning black dresses … unless, of course, he already does.
Benjy Sarlin: “In his newest advert, [California 36th Congressional Candidate Ben] Adler hangs out with a multi-ethnic crowd touting his attraction to Asian voters by stating that he is married to a Korean and that — as a Jew — he can understand what it is wish to be a minority. In a bizarre and seemingly quite patronizing twist, a closely-accented Korean immigrant girl in a laundromat awkwardly interrupts him all through the advert, finally asking the digicam ‘What’s a mensch?'” [TPM]
As a result of You’ve Learn THIS FAR – Because you just can’t have ONE video of an animal riding a tortoise. Here is a greatest-of assortment of the perfect videos of animals riding tortoises. [http://bit.ly/jma62K]
CARLY’S CANNABIS Nook – Carly Schwartz: “Within the coast-to-coast battle for legalized greenery, this round goes to the preppies over the hippies. A medical marijuana dispensary in North Hollywood shuttered this morning after town of Los Angeles filed swimsuit against the enterprise, a part of its massive effort to put a whole lot of distributors out of enterprise. Up in Walla Walla, Washington, a SWAT crew with time on its arms descended on the house of fifty eight-yr-previous Tim Bennett, seizing his provide. Across the country, a Florida teen caught it to cops when he appeared them right in the face and stated, “Yeah, I smoke weed…a variety of weed.” And our nation’s First State is poised to grow to be the sixteenth that will legalize the plant for medicinal purposes: a invoice is headed straight for Delaware Governor Jack Markell’s desk. (Cannabis Corner can be pleased to announce that Markell signed a landmark civil unions regulation yesterday.)” Thanks, Carly!
KEVIN THE INTERN’S ‘This present day IN Historical past’ – Could 12th 1903: New Wonder Referred to as Video Exhibits Nation the Roosevelts Earlier than YouTube moments triggered the D.C. press corps to salivate, shifting photos had been capturing President Teddy Roosevelt adventures in the White Home. The President made a visit to San Francisco and a cameraman decided to movie him marching in a parade with a cavalry unit. The tape was circulated in arcades across the country, and Roosevelt made sure the digicam was all the time rolling when he was in public. There may be tape of him campaigning in 1912, assembly with international heads of state, and visiting the Panama Canal and Africa. Roosevelt turned the first video president, and even his funeral was shown to the public, but it could be many more many years before American presidents began to wish the cameras weren all the time on. Thanks, KB!
A RANDOM DAY IN ‘JEREMY THE INTERN’S WEATHER REPORT’ History – Because JB has moved on and is no longer filing weather experiences (regardless of the incessant demand) right here is JB’s report from October 6, 2010: “Tonight: It’s going to remain cloudy, and may rain. Tomorrow: Expect sunny skies and mid 70s. Ought to be a pleasing Fall day.Thanks, JB!”
– A bunch of mates decided to prepare each sort of pizza talked about in the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles series. It is fairly disgusting. [http://bit.ly/mIiXNB]
– Cat tries to open a box. Fails. Tries to get its owner to do it for him. Proprietor obliges. The worst type of ethical hazzard. [http://bit.ly/mn55dA]
– The 40 classiest (if you actually need call excessively tasteless gadgets of clothes “classy”) “Osama is dead” t-shirts. The “As Useless As Disco” with bin Laden sporting a ‘fro is definitely pretty funny. [http://on.vh1.com/koNReS]
– This is exactly how residing in California softens your mind: A former California resident in Dallas completely lost it when an In-and-Out franchise opened up near her. [http://bit.ly/ksF9hv]
– Man turns his 258-sq.-foot condominium right into a decked-out pad because of some nifty compartments. Eat your heart out, Ikea. [http://gizmo.do/lvQKvT]
– “Vegan Black Metallic Chef” teaches you how you can make delicious, animal-pleasant dishes by instructive black metal songs. [http://bit.ly/lRF4Ep]
– Seven web sites try to be wasting time on right now, courtesy of the tremendous folks at HuffPost Comedy [http://huff.to/m5jSSR]
– Japan’s Nationwide Protection Academy plays a sport referred to as “Pole Pull-Down.” What is “Pole Pull-Down,” you ask? Good query! [http://bit.ly/lY4mRD]
@lizzieohreally: Hip. Hop. No, truly I’m stopping now.
@megancarpentier: Yeah, but does she know all of the words to “Bust A Transfer”?
@pourmecoffee: Mitt addressing Romneycare like an abstinence advocate: Sure, it is past awesome, but I’m recommending you avoid it.
@fredthompson: GloWarm’ers: higher temps might interfere w/ wi-fi alerts. Not buying it. If hot air killed wi-fi, DC would be a wireless dead zone. tcot
6:00 pm: Richard Shelby attends a fundraising dinner at lobbying guru Tim Rupli’s townhouse [Rupli Townhouse, 446 New Jersey Ave SE].
6:00 pm: Democrats and Republicans don’t agree on much, but they sure can agree on the significance of attending those monetary providers dinners. Mike Crapo takes checks from his finance friends [Rosa Mexicano, 575 7th Road NW].
7:00 pm – 8:30 pm: The DCCC goes off the overwhelmed observe and hosts a fundraiser in National Harbor. Nancy Pelosi and Donna Edwards might be available [Bond forty five, 149 Waterfront Road, National Harbor].
Eight:00 am – 9:00 am: The factor that worries us about “Meet and Greet” fundraisers is that they imply that at a lawmaker’s other fundraisers are “gawk at me from afar”-kind affairs. David Cicilline holds his personal “Meet and Greet” [Democratic National Headquarters, 430 South Capitol Avenue SE].
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