House Republicans might remove food stamps from the farm bill and vote on them separately, because why kick someone while they're down when you can kick someone while they're down twice? Several Democrats proposed establishing a national park on the moon, though this being a national park, the GOP will likely add a concealed weapon amendment. And President Obama says his favorite food is broccoli, adding just one more green thing to his agenda that most Republicans hate. This is HUFFPOST HILL for Tuesday, July 9th, 2013:
REID THREATENING FILIBUSTER RULE FIGHT - Mike McAuliff: "Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) signaled Tuesday that his Democratic caucus members are becoming so frustrated with Republicans blocking President Barack Obama's nominees that they will again consider whether to invoke the so-called nuclear option to change Senate rules. 'I'm going to have a full meeting with my caucus on Thursday. We're going to talk about nominations,' Reid said. He did not hint what he would do, but suggested his deliberations were far enough along that the sessions with his members would be decisive. 'I think Thursday, by the time the day's out, you'll have a better idea of what we're going to try to do on this,' Reid told reporters on Capitol Hill. Senate Democrats had threatened to change rules at the start of the session to make filibusters more difficult, but settled on only mild reforms. At the time, Reid promised not to change the rules for the rest of the Senate session as long as the GOP members conducted themselves in the a less obstructive manner more in keeping with Senate history." [HuffPost]
President Obama apparently told children today that his favorite food is broccoli.
WHERE THE CIR VOTES ARE - Great map graphic by Aaron Bycoffe and Elise Foley showing which House members are likely to support immigration reform. It's "based on the combined intelligence of several immigration groups and informed House staffers, along with a look at lawmakers' past votes, public statements and district demographics." Let us know if we're missing anybody in the yes or no column. [HUFFPOST]
Harry Reid at the Ohio clock today: "I guess I feel sorry for the Speaker." Our Mike McAuliff notes that Reid didn't sound very sorry. [HuffPost]
GOP DOES NOT WANT FOOD TO BE TOUCHING - Republicans are making more noise about dropping food stamps from farm legislation that previously failed to pass the House of Representatives because of disagreement over cuts in nutrition assistance. Roll Call reported Tuesday that a vote could happen as soon as this week, but a spokesman for House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) suggested leaders haven't made up their minds. "There has been no decision made to schedule a vote on a farm bill, in any form," Cantor spokesman Rory Cooper told HuffPost...Frank Lucas spokeswoman Tamara Hinton said Tuesday that he'd rather keep food stamps and farm subsidies together but wants to see something passed. "It's not his preference to split the bill, but he wants to get a new farm bill enacted and will do what's necessary to accomplish that goal," Hinton said. [HuffPost]
Food stamps would keep on stampin' without a farm bill while some farm programs would be in trouble. Nevertheless advocates say food stamps would be vulnerable sans reauthorization. The Congressional Research services says a 1985 law "specifies that expiring mandatory spending programs are assumed to continue in the budget baseline if they have outlays of more than $50 million in the current year and were established before the Balanced Budget Act of 1997."
FURLOUGHED DOD WORKERS TAKE TO THE STREETS - To jog, that is. Sam Stein and Amanda Terkel: "There are few benefits to being furloughed because of sequestration. Hitting the snooze button without regret, ploughing through your DVR library and checking items off one's to-do list are a few. Jogging five miles through the suffocating humidity of a typical Washington, D.C., summer afternoon is probably not. And yet, on Monday at 5:30 p.m., dozens of Department of Defense civilian employees could be spotted in one of the Pentagon's parking lots, stretching their legs and ligaments in preparation for a run through the nation's capital. The goal was to spotlight the fact that some of their furloughs were starting that day. And if that meant participating in a balmy run without pay -- well, they'd tried everything else to get sequestration canceled, why not self-inflicted physical exhaustion?" [HuffPost]
DAILY DELANEY DOWNER - From our ongoing series PASTED: The Email of the Jobless: "I have a college degree and years of work experience. I thought that that fact would be enough to have a job. I am taking care of my sister who is disabled since she had a stroke. I felt that I was doing all the right things that we are taught to do, go to school, get an education, take care of your family. I have at least two inches of business cards from interviews with businesses, staffing agencies and the like. All they see is a 56 year old black man." [Hang in there!]
DAVE DOWNER - Dave Jamieson: Three years ago, Antonio Vanegas took a job at a pita shop inside the food court at the Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center in D.C. For an undocumented immigrant like Vanegas, the venue was a particularly ironic fit. The Reagan Building, after all, is home to U.S. Customs and Border Protection, an agency of the Department of Homeland Security that enforces immigration and trade law. Working the grill and the cash register, the Guatemala native was apparently dishing out pitas to some of the very federal workers tasked with keeping folks like himself out of the country. But like many undocumented workers, Vanegas said his immigration status was never an issue on the job -- at least until he claimed publicly that his boss had been violating labor law. Not long after that, he said, he was detained for four days, and now has an immigration hearing scheduled for August." [PUBLICATION]
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REPUBLICANS HATE BANKSTERS - Grim: "House Republicans have a new weapon to wield against Obamacare: populism. Party leaders unsheathed it Tuesday morning at a Capitol press conference, accusing President Barack Obama of protecting 'big business and big corporations' at the expense of the little guy. House Speaker John Boehner called the administration's decision to delay imposing penalties on large employers who don't comply with elements of the health care law 'outrageous.' 'I think what the president did is outrageous. The idea that we're going to give big businesses a break under Obamacare but we're going to punish small businesses and families? It's wrong,' he said. House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) echoed the populist sentiment and freshman Rep. Trey Radel (R-Fla.) said that he felt like a lefty for slamming the president for favoring big business. [HuffPost]
LGBT ACTIVISTS TARGETING SELECT REPUBLICANS ON ENDA - Amanda Terkel: "With a Senate committee set to vote on the Employment Non-Discrimination Act on Wednesday, supporters are focusing these final hours on convincing a few additional Republicans to join Sen. Mark Kirk (R-Ill.) and the 12 committee Democrats, giving the measure a strong bipartisan backing. Tico Almeida, founder of Freedom to Work, an organization dedicated to banning workplace harassment and discrimination against LGBT individuals, identified several possible Republican supporters on Monday. Almeida named Sens. Richard Burr (R-N.C.) and Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) as potential backers, along with Sens. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) and Orrin Hatch (R-Utah). All are members of the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions, which will mark up ENDA on Wednesday morning. The bill would make workplace discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity illegal. "My tendency is to vote for the bill," Hatch told The Huffington Post on Tuesday. He said he wanted to make sure that exemptions for religious organizations in the bill remain strong." [HuffPost]
Democrats are launching shamebombs at immigration foes, as well: "The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee is targeting House Republicans with an ad on immigration reform that serves as a greatest hits of sorts of Republicans' controversial statements on the topic, from disparaging 'wetbacks' to dismissing 'anchor babies.'" [HuffPost's Elise Foley]
113TH CONGRESS LIKELY TO BE LEAST PRODUCTIVE IN MODERN HISTORY - This Town. Amanda Terkel: "The current Congress has had just 15 bills signed into law so far, the fewest in recent history. This is not an insignificant feat. After all, the 112th Congress (2011-2013) was the most unproductive since the 1940s. But even that Congress, by this time in its first year, had 23 bills signed into law. And the low number can't be blamed on President Barack Obama. He's vetoed just two pieces of legislation during his time in office, both in 2010. The Huffington Post compiled the data from GovTrack, which lists laws since 1973. Back then, significantly more legislation made its way into public law. The height was the 94th (1975-1976) and 95th (1977-1978) legislative sessions." [HuffPost]
Speaking of which, sequestration is still one giant suck smoothie: "The Huffington Post set out to tell the story of another slice of sequestration: the damage being done to Head Start. The 5.27 percent reduction to the $8 billion program is having a devastating effect on families with children in the program, according to interviews with parents across the country. Not everyone has experienced the loss of a child's Head Start slot or a teary living room conversation. But parents have been left fearful and scrambling, worried that the cuts are shredding an already frayed social safety net upon which they depend." [HuffPost's Sam Stein]
DEMOCRATS PROPOSE NATIONAL PARK ON THE MOON - Talk about Manifest Destiny. We give it a few years before someone on Natural Resources proposes fracking the luna terrae. The Hill: "Two House Democrats have proposed legislation that would establish a national historical park on the surface of the moon to mark where the Apollo missions landed between 1969 and 1972. The bill from Reps. Donna Edwards (D-Md.) and Eddie Bernice Johnson (D-Texas) would create the Apollo Lunar Landing Sites National Historical Park. The park would be comprised of all artifacts left on the surface of the moon from the Apollo 11 through 17 missions. The bill says these sites need to be protected because of the anticipated increase in commercial moon landings in the future...Under the legislation, the park would be established no later than one year after the bill passes and would be run jointly by the Department of the Interior and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)." [The Hill]
PENNSYLVANIA GAY MARRIAGE BAN CHALLENGED IN COURT - Tragically, the city of Philadelphia remains legal and uncontested. AP: "The American Civil Liberties Union said it filed the first known legal challenge Tuesday seeking to overturn a state law effectively banning same-sex marriage in Pennsylvania, the only northeastern state that doesn't allow it or civil unions. The lawsuit, filed in federal court in Harrisburg, also will ask a federal judge to prevent state officials from stopping gay couples from getting married. It names Gov. Tom Corbett, Attorney General Kathleen Kane and three other officials. The plaintiffs are one widow, 10 couples and one of the couples' two teenage daughters, and they include four couples who were legally married in other states but whose marriages go unrecognized by the state of Pennsylvania. Pennsylvania would become the 14th state to legalize gay marriage if the lawsuit is successful. It also would force the state to recognize the legal marriages of all same-sex couples in other jurisdictions." [AP]
STATE DEPARTMENT ADDING A LITTLE LEVITY TO OPPRESSED, WAR TORN REGION - A new State Department video unearthed by the Washington Post makes a certain other government agency's "Star Trek" spoof seem quaint by comparison. WaPo: "[T]he U.S. Digital Outreach Team...[has] crossed a new line: spoofing al-Qaeda propaganda videos on an official State Department YouTube channel. The... video... shows al-Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri delivering a speech to 'Muslim brothers everywhere.' But from the opening title, it's clear something's a little off:... An edited voiceover, meant to sound like al-Zawahiri, then says: 'Greetings, Muslim brothers everywhere and especially in Syria. In spite of all the unrest and my jihad duties in the lines of conflict and on the battlefield, [I am] far from Syria. (clears throat)'...A somewhat clunky montage shows brightly garbed dancers spinning in front of Zawahiri. A closing credit asks viewers to follow the Engagement Team on Facebook, where they post translated press releases, crude Photoshopped illustrations of Zawahiri and other militants and -- inexplicably -- a photo of the 8-year-old Boston bombing victim Martin Richard..." [WaPo ]
BECAUSE YOU'VE READ THIS FAR - Alex the breakdancing dog puts all other bboys to shame.
This will undoubtedly siphon customers from Chuck Schumer, Dick Durbin and George Miller's "Senatorial Secrets" undies line: "Like most politicians, New Hampshire Sen. Jeanne Shaheen routinely pays lip service to the plight of the small business. But unlike many of her peers, her family has put its money where its mouth is: An 'intimate apparel boutique' called Naked Undies is registered to her home address in Madbury, N.H. The business was registered in the state in 2011 as an LLC by Shaheen's husband Bill, a prominent attorney and Democratic political operative in New Hampshire. But reached for comment, Bill told BuzzFeed the business is run by their daughter, Molly, and her business partner." [BuzzFeed]
- Comedy Central is releasing a televised version of the "Drunk History" sketch series. Here's Jack Black and Bob Oedenkirk acting out a drunken telling of the time Elvis met Nixon. [http://bit.ly/1deBsHn]
- You can always depend on the kindness of strangers, especially when you've left your coffee mug on your bumper and the stranger is a motorcyclist who retrieves it while speeding down the highway. [http://bit.ly/1a8cVEb]
- What are the least essential organs in the human body? Please note the "least essential" construction and don't remove them. [http://bit.ly/182xl44]
- Korean rhythmic gymnast throws the ceremonial first pitch, makes Hideo Nomo's delivery seem tame. [http://bit.ly/13reuxZ]
- BuzzFeed is touting this as the "Definitive Guide to the British Royal Succession" but it doesn't include King Ralph so we'll let you decide. [http://bit.ly/12dTwMI]
- Daft Punk's "Get Lucky" as performed by the Muppets, deserves an award for noting the similarities between Daft Punk's robot voice and Cookie Monster's voice. [http://bit.ly/1aW3hYd]
- Supercut of all the mentions of pie and/or coffee in "Twin Peaks." [http://bit.ly/14Gtdlv]
@jonlovett: [fish swims by Osama bin Laden] RT @Liz_Cheney: Too bad Obama isn't as dedicated to disarming al Qaeda as he is law-abiding Americans.
@BretLloGiurato: Obama definitely does not like leeks
@daveweigel: What we need is a charismatic president who pledges to fix the partisanship in Washington with hope and change.
Martin O'Malley and his number-two, Anthony Brown, a joined by Maryland Senate President Mike Miller host a fundraiser for human AdderallTerry McAuliffe. [Home of Ambassador & Mrs. Thomas Siebert, Annapolis, MD]
6:00 pm: You know what pairs well with a good Shiraz? Unapologetic influence peddling, natch. John Barrasso invites you to his "Italian Wine Tasting Happy Hour." [The Rowland Tasting Room, 232 8th Street SE]
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