A rule that would require senators to talk more probably won't be enacted … and believe it or not that's a bad thing. People were heartbroken to learn that Beyonce lip synced at the FAKE INAUGURATION (jeez, do we need to remind you people about Joe Biden's hair?). And Frank Lautenberg chided Cory Booker for coveting his Senate seat, saying the Newark mayor needs a "spanking." We're pretty sure "quiet time" would be a much more agonizing punishment for Booker. This is HUFFPOST HILL for Tuesday, January 22nd, 2013:
FILIBUSTER REFORM ON HORIZON - Mike McAuliff: "The Senate will reform the filibuster within the next day and a half -- whether Republicans go along or not, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) said Tuesday afternoon. 'I hope that within the next 24 to 36 hours we can get something we agree on. If not, we're going to move forward on what I think needs to be done,' Reid told reporters. 'The caucus will support me on that,' he added. He specified that he has the 51 votes he needs to proceed on a Democratic plan, indicating he's willing to pursue the 'constitutional option' of changing the rules without the usual two-thirds vote. Previously, a number of senior Democrats had professed reluctance to change the rules with a simple majority, saying they feared it would set a dangerous precedent. Opponents have called the tactic the 'nuclear option.' The sudden deadline puts fresh pressure on the GOP to get on board, and Reid said he and his staff have been negotiating with Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) as recently as Tuesday. Earlier, Reid had said the Senate would tackle the rules reform after passing Superstorm Sandy aid." [HuffPost]
DEMOCRATS READYING CLIMATE CHANGE DISASTER BILL - Lucia Graves: "Senate Democrats will push a bill to help areas vulnerable to climate change prepare for extreme weather events. The legislation, one of the Senate's top ten priorities in the new session, will be modeled after a section of the Water Resources Development Act that deals with extreme weather. Environment and Public Works Chairwoman Barbara Boxer tells HuffPost: 'Sandy is an indication that all the predictions that were made before my committee in 2006 are coming true. It's coming true faster. They predicted maybe 2025, but we're seeing it now, so we really need to prepare.' The language for the bill hasn't been written yet, but Boxer says the goal is to streamline construction projects after a disaster, relocating buildings and infrastructure where necessary and respecting the environment. 'We're working on how to do that,' says Boxer, 'and also fund mitigation after an event, so that the mitigation gets into place so these things don't happen again.'"
RYAN RESPONDS TO OBAMA - Paul Ryan, master straw sculptor, says he knows one when he sees one. The suggestion that Ryan ever came after Social Security or Medicare, he said, just ain't so. Not him. Uh uh. Biiiiiiig entitlement fan, this guy. "It’s kind of a convenient twist of terms to try and shadowbox a straw man in order to win an argument by default," he said on Laura Ingraham's show. "No one is suggesting that what we call our earned entitlements, entitlements you pay for like payroll taxes for Medicare and Social Security, are putting you in a taker category. No one suggests that whatsoever. The concern that people like me have been raising is we do not want to encourage a dependency culture." How does Ryan get to his 60 or 70 percent of "takers" estimate without including Social Security or Medicare? Give up? That's why he's a wonk, and you're not. [Politico]
CENTRISTS GAIN SEATS IN ISRAELI ELECTION - If only Chris Christie hadn't been all chummy with members of the Labor Party last week, Bibi might not be in this mess. Times: "Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu performed far worse than expected in Israel’s national elections on Tuesday, according to exit polls, and while he remained likely to serve a third term, a surprise surge by a new centrist party indicated that he would be under pressure to form a more moderate governing coalition. As polls closed at 10 p.m., Israeli news channels reported that Mr. Netanyahu’s rightist Likud-Beiteinu list would win 30 or 31 of Parliament’s 120 seats, and the new centrist party, There is a Future, would take 18, followed by left-leaning Labor, with 17. More important, the polls showed a significant tightening between the bloc of right-wing and religious parties, with a razor-thin majority of 61, and 59 for the center-left factions." [NYT]
DAILY DELANEY DOWNER - The economic ills we suffer have come upon us over several decades. They will not go away in days, weeks, or months, but they will go away. They will go away because we as Americans have the capacity now, as we've had in the past, to
do whatever needs to be done to preserve this last and greatest bastion of freedom make the poor and unemployed pee in cups. [HuffPost]
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ROE V. WADE TURNS 40 - The landmark Supreme Court ruling has allowed women with malfunctioning vagina brains (first discovered by Dr. Todd Akin last year) to legally terminate pregnancies. Laura Bassett: "As Roe v. Wade turns 40 on Tuesday, public support for the 1973 Supreme Court decision is at its highest level since polls began to measure it in 1989. Seven in 10 Americans do not believe the case should be overturned, according to a new Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll. A HuffPost/YouGov poll conducted in October of 2012 found 27 percent of respondents said they believe abortion should be legal in all circumstances, 22 percent said that it should generally be legal but with some restrictions, and 30 percent said it should be illegal except in special circumstances, while only 15 percent said it should always be illegal." [HuffPost]
WHITE HOUSE SUPPORTS SHORT TERM DEBT CEILING EXTENSION. Sam Stein: "The president's preference, press secretary Jay Carney added, was for a longer delay. Carney also noted that congressional Democrats have expressed some concerns with the House GOP proposal, which will receive a vote in the House on Wednesday... The comments by Carney are another sign of optimism... Carney did his best to avoid endorsing the legislation, noting that no one has actually seen the language yet. But he did applaud the decision by House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) and the rest of his team not to use the debt ceiling as a point of brinksmanship." [HuffPost]
So a priest and a rabbi walk into a windowless cell and are made to endure sleep deprivation for the next 96 hours... "Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) joked that he’s going to get the truth out of Sen. John Kerry during confirmation hearings this week, even if he has to resort to enhanced interrogation methods. Kerry has been nominated to replace Hillary Clinton as secretary of state. 'We will look forward to interrogating him at his hearing next week, mercilessly,' McCain joked at a press conference on Tuesday afternoon. 'We will bring back for the only time waterboarding to get the truth out of him.'" [Politico]
@Noahpinion: Hey look, Internet Explorer was responsible for America's high murder rate! pic.twitter.com/HAvMjkhQ
IDIOTGERRYMANDEREDDEMOCRATSSAY'WHAT' - TPM: "Democrats in Virginia are accusing state Republicans of taking advantage of a prominent civil rights leader's trip to Washington for the presidential inauguration to pull a 'dirty trick' in order to take control of the state Senate in the 2015 elections. The state Senate is split 20-20 between Republicans and Democrats. On Monday, while state Sen. Henry Marsh (D) -- a 79-year-old civil rights veteran -- was reportedly in Washington to attend President Obama's second inaugural, GOP senators forced through a mid-term redistricting plan that Democrats say will make it easier for Republicans to gain a majority." [TPM]
As expected, Debbie Wasserman Schultz was elected to a second term as head of the Democratic National Committee.
STONED JUDGES: WEED IS NOT A MEDICINE - When we have medical questions, the D.C. courthouse is the first place we go for advice. Americans for Safe Access: "The United States Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit issued a ruling today in the medical marijuana reclassification case, Americans for Safe Access v. Drug Enforcement Administration. In a 2-1 decision, the Court granted standing in the case -- the right to bring a claim against the federal government -- but denied the legal challenge on the merits, agreeing with the government's assertion that 'adequate and well-controlled studies' on the medical efficacy of marijuana do not exist. 'To deny that sufficient evidence is lacking on the medical efficacy of marijuana is to ignore a mountain of well-documented studies that conclude otherwise,' said Joe Elford, Chief Counsel with ASA, the country's leading medical marijuana advocacy organization, which appealed the denial of the rescheduling petition in January of last year. 'The Court has unfortunately agreed with the Obama Administration's unreasonably raised bar on what qualifies as an 'adequate and well-controlled' study, thereby continuing their game of 'Gotcha.''"
The president and first lady "surprised" a White House tour by greeting each participant today. The whole thing appeared staged -- the guests were awfully calm, cool and collected for a group of people whose tour was crashed by the most powerful couple in the world. "Shhhh! Barack, Bo & I are about to surprise folks on @WhiteHouse tours! I love doing this," the first lady tweeted." At no point did Joe Biden interrupt with a thirty rack in each arm and asked if "you goobers" are ready to "get weird"? Someone asked Obama for a fist bump/explosion. The president obliged. That was fun.
Oil & Natural Gas Companies are investing in the promise of America:
In 2011, the oil & natural gas industry added up to $545 billion through capital investment, wages and dividends to the U.S. economy – nearly $1.5 billion every day. http://www.EnergyTomorrow.org.
WHIPPERSNAPPER ALERT: LAUTENBERG THINKS BOOKER NEEDS A SPANKING - If there is an internet subculture for this kind of thing, the web has officially run out of content. The Inquirer: "Sen. Frank Lautenberg, who might face a 2014 primary challenge from Newark Mayor Cory Booker, said his fellow Democrat is 'entitled' to run if he chooses to but suggested that he had to give a 'spanking' to his potential rival for so openly coveting his seat. Booker has already formed a 2014 campaign committee, prompting anonymous Lautenberg aides to rip the mayor to Politico, accusing him of being 'disrespectful.' I asked Lautenberg about that characterization this afternoon. 'I have four children, I love each one of them. I can't tell you that one of them wasn't occasionally disrespectful, so I gave them a spanking and everything was OK,' Lautenberg said with a smile in his first public comments since Booker announced he was considering a run for Senate." [Inquirer]
TIRED OF SELLING OUT HIS PARTY, BEN NELSON JUST PLAIN SELLS OUT - Next thing you know he'll be sponsored by the American Petroleum Institute. Politico: "Former Sen. Ben Nelson, who retired from the upper chamber just weeks ago, will be joining public affairs firm Agenda as a senior adviser, POLITICO has learned. The firm has also hired Ed Schafer, the former North Dakota governor and secretary of agriculture under President George W. Bush, to serve in the same role. Nelson and Schafer will lead the firm's advisory board. Ethics rules prevent former senators from lobbying until two years after they leave Congress, but since the firm does advocacy work that doesn't fall under the Lobbying Disclosure Act, Nelson can go through the revolving door immediately after retiring from the Senate. 'I'll be working with the staff to help coordinate and establish a relationship with state governments,' Nelson told POLITICO. 'I wanted to work with my friend and former colleague to help represent the interests of states, and I'm looking forward to it.'" [Politico]
It's almost like Republicans don't care about people in left-leaning areas.. MoJo: "In 2005, 58 House Republicans who voted no on the Sandy aid bill approved a disaster relief package for Katrina victims worth $51.8 billion--less than two weeks after the storm hit... Before his state was hit by Sandy, [Rep. Scott Garrett (R-N.J.)] voted against aid for Katrina. He's the only GOP representative in the United States that was present for both disasters, and changed his mind in the end." [MoJo]
TERMINATOR 4: RISE OF THE DRONES - Dave Wood files this report that could only be creepier if our enemies' drones start being programmed to yell "Sic semper tyrannis!": "As the technology for arming drones spreads around the world, terrorists could use the unmanned, missile-firing aircraft to attack and kill the president and other U.S. leaders, the former chief of U.S. intelligence said Tuesday. Retired Adm. Dennis Blair, who served as President Obama's first director of national intelligence, told reporters he was concerned that the proliferation of armed drones -- a potential outgrowth of the U.S. reliance on drones to attack and kill terrorists -- could well backfire. 'I do fear that if al Qaeda can develop a drone, its first thought will be to use it to kill our president, and senior officials and senior officers,' Blair said during a conference call with reporters. 'It is possible without a great deal of intelligence to do something with a drone you cannot do with a high-powered rifle or driving a car full of explosives and other ways terrorists now use to try killing senior officials,' he said." [HuffPost]
Carpetbagging update: "A Smart Politics analysis finds that five-eighths of U.S. Representatives currently serving in the House represent districts in their birth state - 270 of 433 non-vacant seats, or 62.4 percent - with three-eighths born elsewhere (163, 37.6 percent). Members of eight U.S. House delegations were all born in the states from which they currently serve." [Smart Politics]
THERE WAS A SECOND SINGER IN THE GRASSY KNOLL - Beyonce Knowles is the Jonah Lehrer of popular music. New York Post: "Beyonce Knowle's flawless performance of 'The Star Spangled Banner' at the inauguration was entirely lip-synched, Page Six has confirmed. A rep for the United States Marine Band revealed that she decided to perform to a pre-recorded track at the last minute. 'All music is pre-recorded for the ceremony because there are so many eventualities and conditions that day,' Kristin DuBois, a rep for the band tells Page Six. 'We performed, live, the band. But we received last-minute word that Beyonce was going to use the pre-recorded vocal track. Those were the instructions we were given. We don't know what the reason why.'" [New York Post]
@HillHulse: So the Marine Corps has a studio in DC capable of recording a performer like Beyonce? Semper Hi-Fi.
BECAUSE YOU'VE READ THIS FAR - While you freeze your ass off in this arctic, try to adopt a positive attitude, like these chihuahua puppies frolicking in the snow.
- Playing fetch with a dog.. from the dog's perspective. [http://bit.ly/10MMIdh]
- A picture of President Obama's face from every day of his first term. [http://chzb.gr/10AzDTk]
- A GIF explains how keys work. [http://bit.ly/VMxq3d]
- President Obama might not realize that he sang "Sexy Back," but he did. Oh sweet Jesus he did. [http://huff.to/10DwYs7]
- BuzzFeed naturally has 23 reasons why the president's daughters won inauguration. [http://bit.ly/11Nd3r3]
- Inventions from the 1980s that never caught on. [http://bit.ly/U6KAYB]
- Four-and-a-half minutes of people be straight up awesome. [http://bit.ly/10nQCDN]
@LOLGOP: If men could get pregnant the one restriction would be "No abortions after the 7th inning."
@dceiver: Kathryn Bigelow announces she will option the story of the brave Marine Corps band member who brought Beyonce to justice.
@stefanjbecket: Does the Marine Corps throw you under a bus, or some kind of amphibious landing craft?
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