The White House denied that James Clapper will lead a review of the administration's surveillance programs but was mum on whether Larry Summers is still spearheading that council on women in the sciences. The only thing fresher than the beats on Michelle Obama's upcoming nutrition rap album will be the beets. Kentucky said that it will move forward with its insurance exchange despite Mitch McConnell's concern about hackers. McConnell will now revert to plan B by typing "hack obamacare" in Google, hitting enter and waiting for something to happen. This is HUFFPOST HILL for Tuesday, August 13th, 2013:
WHITE HOUSE DENIES PLACING CLAPPER ATOP SURVEILLANCE PANEL - The Hill: "The Obama administration is denying that James Clapper, the director of national intelligence, will control a review of the government's surveillance programs. Privacy advocates expressed dismay on Monday after President Obama directed Clapper to establish a group that will provide recommendations for reforming the controversial surveillance programs. The review is part of the president's push to restore public trust in the programs, but the privacy activists argue that the group can't be independent if it is led by the administration's top intelligence official. 'Director Clapper will not be a part of the group, and is not leading or directing the group’s efforts,' Caitlin Hayden, a White House spokeswoman, told The Hill on Tuesday." [The Hill]
Right hand, meet left hand. Please get to know one another.
MCCONNELL RENEWS OPPOSITION TO SHUTTING DOWN GOV'T OVER OBAMACARE - Whole lotta nose-holding going to be going on. Roll Call: "Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell told a crowd at a health care forum in Kentucky on Tuesday that while he does not like the president’s health care law, shutting down the government over funding it 'will not stop' it from existing. 'I’m for stopping Obamacare, but shutting down the government will not stop Obamacare,' McConnell told the audience at Baptist Health Corbin, according to a WYMT-TV reporter at the event. Several conservative senators — including Ted Cruz of Texas, Mike Lee of Utah and Marco Rubio of Florida — have said the GOP should not vote to fund the government unless they can stop money from flowing to Obamacare. Of course, the effort is likely to go nowhere, given that the Democratic-controlled Senate would never approve such a measure and President Barack Obama certainly would never sign it into law." [Roll Call]
McConnell is terrified of hackers, whatever those are. Jason Cherkis: "A day after Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) demanded that the Obama administration delay the Oct. 1 launch of the health insurance exchanges -- a key component of Obamacare -- the head of Kentucky's exchange said that project is on target to begin on time. In yet another gambit to hamper the president's key health care reforms, McConnell wrote Monday to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services to express concern that the exchanges, most of whose transactions will be online, could be vulnerable to 'hackers and cyber criminals.'...Carrie Banahan, executive director of Kynect, told The Huffington Post that Kentucky's exchange in particular was proceeding on schedule. She said she hasn't had time to even review McConnell's letter. 'I haven't looked at his comments,' she said. 'I have been working all day long on some other issues.'" [HuffPost]
@whitehouse: Bo, stop trying to make fetch happen. pic.twitter.com/NCF92ye5a2
Willie Robertson, one of the stars of "Duck Dynasty," is a fan of Bobby Jindal, per "The Five." #2016
DAILY DELANEY DOWNER - "Effective immediately, all vacations are cancelled and no further vacations are to be granted in operations including individuals’ days -- that includes all hourly and salaried staff." So say Honeywell bosses in the latest move of an ongoing labor battle, as reported by Mike Elk. In These Times]
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NORTH CAROLINA LEGISLATURE BASICALLY RUNNING KAY HAGAN'S REELECTION CAMPAIGN - It's like a collective "legitimate rape" comment. PPP: "The biggest winner coming out of the North Carolina legislative session might be Kay Hagan. She leads her two most likely Republican opponents, Thom Tillis and Phil Berger, by 8 points each at 47/39. Beyond that though it's clear that the actions of the General Assembly this year make voters hesitant to give either of their legislative leaders a promotion. 49% of voters say they're less likely to support the Speaker of the House for the Senate because of what happened during this session to only 19% who are more likely to. And 41% are less likely to support the President Pro Tem of the State Senate for the US Senate, to 18% who are more likely to. Tillis and Berger still have low name recognition- 44% and 38% respectively- but voters know they're unhappy with what the people in their offices did regardless of whether they know their names at this point, and that will give Hagan a lot to work with in her campaign. Overall the General Assembly has a 24% approval rating with 54% of voters disapproving of it." [PPP]
Democrats complain to John Boehner about feeding the poors.
It's recess, so if your phone died, remember you can mark the hours by Republican congressman making birther cracks at town halls. Ryan Rainey: "Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R-Calif.) considered personally asking President Barack Obama if he was actually born in Hawaii, he told constituents at an event in his district on Thursday. Rohrabacher said that while he was chatting with Obama and Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.), Wednesday at Camp Pendleton in California, Rohrabacher mentioned the state's surfer friendly beaches. When Obama responded that he had surfed while growing up in Hawaii, Rohrabacher said he had to hold himself back from joking about the president's birthplace. 'I didn't want to say, were you born in Hawaii?' Rohrabacher said, drawing laughter from the crowd. 'I didn't do that -- maybe I should've.'" [HuffPost]
MoveOn.org's 8 million members stand shoulder to shoulder with true defenders and champions of Social Security. Sen. Brian Schatz and Rep. Mike Honda have earned those titles, and our endorsement in their upcoming primary and general elections. http://j.mp/14z4Qd6
TEXAS DEMOCRATS HOPING FOR WENDY DAVIS GUBERNATORIAL BID - Employees of Mizuno are undoubtedly going to be the first 5,000 signatories of this petition. Laura Bassett: "Texas state Sen. Wendy Davis (D) has not yet decided whether she will run for governor in 2014, but the state's Democratic Party is doing everything it can to make sure she does. Texas Democrats kicked off their 'I Want Wendy' campaign on Tuesday by asking state residents to sign a petition urging Davis to get into the race. The Fort Worth Democrat made a name for herself earlier this summer when she filibustered a sweeping anti-abortion bill for 11 straight hours...Davis said at a fundraiser in Washington, D.C., last week that she is considering challenging conservative Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott in the race to replace Gov. Rick Perry (R), but she has not made a decision...If Davis were elected governor, it would be a huge victory for Texas Democrats, who have not won a gubernatorial race in the state since Ann Richards was elected in 1990." [HuffPost]
BOOKER EXPECTED TO CRUISE TO NJ SENATE NOMINATION - The victory party will be held atop the smoldering ashes of whatever burnt down house Booker just saved 15 children from. "Newark Mayor Cory Booker is poised to win big on Tuesday in the New Jersey Senate Democratic primary — but all eyes will be on his victory margin. The most recent poll from Quinnipiac University showed the mayor with a 37-point lead, and anything but a significant double-digit victory, in the high teens or greater, over Reps. Rush Holt (D) and Frank Pallone Jr. (D) will be seen as a disappointment dimming Booker’s rising star.. It may also be seen as a sign that Booker’s victory in the fall isn’t as inevitable as originally thought. Booker’s star has lost a bit of luster in recent weeks from a report that he received payments from his former law firm after resigning to serve as Newark’s mayor and one outlining his close ties to the tech industry." [The Hill]
Apparently it's okay as a politician to enrich yourself by forming a company and soliciting money for it from donors if it's a new-fangled tech company. Otherwise that's just corrupt.
Louie Gohmert is convinced President Obama is the most racially divisive president since the 1960s. Never mind Nixon's consciously racist and divisive campaign strategy and never mind that time Ronald Reagan's first speech as the Republicans' 1980 presidential nominee was in an area of Mississippi best known for being the site of a hate crime. Never mind, that. Nick Wing: "In an appearance on conservative host Steve Malzberg's show on Monday, first caught by Right Wing Watch, Gohmert began by railing against the move this week by Attorney General Eric Holder to reform the judicial system, claiming that the administration was circumventing federal law on areas like mandatory minimum sentences for nonviolent drug crimes...'Of course we know that this president, this administration has done more to stir up racial tension and violence than any administration since, you know, the sixties. I thought that we were going to have a post-racial president and he’s become the president of division, of envy, of jealousy.'" [HuffPost]
REPORT: CIA KEPT FILE ON NOAM CHOMSKY - Surely the agency was alarmed by his theories on transformational grammar? We always knew they were BF Skinner partisans. Foreign Policy: "For years, the Central Intelligence Agency denied it had a secret file on MIT professor and famed dissident Noam Chomsky. But a new government disclosure obtained by The Cable reveals for the first time that the agency did in fact gather records on the anti-war iconoclast during his heyday in the 1970s. The disclosure also reveals that Chomsky's entire CIA file was scrubbed from Langley's archives, raising questions as to when the file was destroyed and under what authority. The breakthrough in the search for Chomsky's CIA file comes in the form of a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request to the Federal Bureau of Investigation. For years, FOIA requests to the CIA garnered the same denial: 'We did not locate any records responsive to your request.' The denials were never entirely credible, given Chomsky's brazen anti-war activism in the 60s and 70s -- and the CIA's well-documented track record of domestic espionage in the Vietnam era. But the CIA kept denying, and many took the agency at its word." [Foreign Policy]
"Jack Abramoff Explains Why His Planned Remake of Jerry Lewis' Holocaust Clown Film Failed"
MICHELLE OBAMA RELEASING RAP ALBUM... OKAAYYYYY - First she's using her big government agenda to tell our kids what to eat, and now she's telling Ashanti what to do with her career? Outrageous. Rolling Stone: "Michelle Obama has helped put together a new rap album in an effort to inspire healthy living. The first lady teamed with the Partnership for a Healthier America to make the record – titled Songs for a Healthier America – as part of her 'Let's Move!' program, Politico reports, and the album sports tracks with titles like 'U R What You Eat' and 'Veggie Luv.' Songs for a Healthier America features artists including Ashanti, DMC of Run-D.M.C., Jordin Sparks and Doug E. Fresh, and according to Pitchfork, Matisyahu, Ariana Grande and Blink-182's Travis Barker contribute as a trio named Salad Bar. New York Knicks basketball player Iman Schumpert appears on a track, and Nils Lofgren of Bruce Springsteen's E Street Band also contributes to the record. Unfortunately, Obama won't be laying down rhymes for the new album; she'll only be making video cameos." [Rolling Stone]
BECAUSE YOU'VE READ THIS FAR - Here is a baby hippopotamus
POLL: BILL DE BLASIO LEADS NYC DEMOCRATIC MAYORAL PRIMARY - HuffPost Hill will support the candidate whose child is most likely to climb all over them during their swearing-in ceremony. Ariel Edwards-Levy: "New York City Public Advocate Bill de Blasio leads the Democratic primary field for the city's 2013 mayoral elections, according to a Quinnipiac University poll released Tuesday. Among likely Democratic voters, de Blasio took 30 percent of the vote, followed by City Council Speaker Christine Quinn at 24 percent, former comptroller Bill Thompson at 22 percent, former Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-N.Y.) at 10 percent, and former council member Sal Albanese at 1 percent. Another 7 percent was undecided. De Blasio also held the lead in three potential runoff scenarios, beating Quinn by 54 percent to 38 percent, Thompson by 50 percent to 40 percent, and Weiner by a whopping 72 percent to 22 percent. But voters' choices are hardly set in stone: 34 percent, including 37 percent who backed de Blasio, said there was a good chance they'd change their minds." [HuffPost]
- A "Breaking Bad" LEGO set. [http://bit.ly/14FEy6k]
- A retro kids' guide to the internet. "Let's go surfing on the internet!" [http://bit.ly/14I2Exp]
- A short film on toy designers and manufacturers. [http://bit.ly/13hhw7B]
- A compelling case for why Super Mario is completely insane and racist. [http://huff.to/17mJqfr]
- You can't build a mountain on top of your apartment building in China and that is why the People's Republic is a menace to freedom. [http://bit.ly/13VInVe]
- Tom Brady was caught ogling a woman on camera. Consider this a friendly reminder that Tom Brady is history's greatest monster. [http://usat.ly/14Jq48g]
- Giant 1931 map charts the progression of human history. Marxists will not like. [http://bit.ly/18smM6J]
@realDonaldTrump: Congrats to @mboyle1 of @BreitbartNews for exposing Jason Linkins of @HuffingtonPost as a lightweight dope who gives false information.
@indecision: CIA admits to spying on Noam Chomsky. They must have learned a great deal right before they fell asleep from boredom.
@pourmecoffee: Don't go see Steve Jobs biopic first weekend. They're releasing a much better one right after that makes first one look like crap.
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