POLITICS
09/04/2013 06:16 pm ET Updated Nov 04, 2013

HUFFPOST HILL - Senate Cries Authorization For Use Of Military Force And Lets Slip The Dogs Of War

Joe Wilson infuriated John Kerry by suggesting Syria is distracting Americans from Benghazi, elevating the volatile secretary's temper from "phlegmatic" to a bone-chilling "somnolent." The writers of "Homeland" were delighted when the American Enterprise Institute announced that Rep. Tom Cotton will keynote an Al Qaeda event. And Anthony Weiner verbally assaulted a voter, echoing the sentiment of his campaign slogan, "Anthony Weiner: A chicken in every pot, a fist every piehole." This is HUFFPOST HILL for Wednesday, September 4th, 2013:

SENATE PANEL APPROVES THING PRESIDENT WAS GOING TO DO ANYWAY - Bob Corker may as well have scribbled "Yeah dude, go for it," on a piece of loose leaf, crumpled it up and tossed it over the White House gates. Mike McAuliff and Sabrina Siddiqui: "[A] Senate committee Wednesday passed a resolution to bomb Syria in retaliation for President Bashar al-Assad's alleged use of chemical weapons. In a delayed markup of a resolution to authorize the use of military force, the Senate Foreign Relations Committee voted 10 to 7, with one present, to let President Barack Obama mount a bombing campaign aimed at the Syrian regime's weapons of mass destruction for up to 90 days, albeit within a more limited scope than Obama had requested. Specifically, the committee included language that would prohibit the use of U.S. troops on the ground 'for the purpose of combat operations'...[John] McCain, long a proponent of intervention in Syria's two-year civil war, demanded -- and won -- an amendment that said the U.S. aim was to change the momentum in the war in favor of the rebels. The Senate resolution crafted by Menendez and Corker specifies that it is directed at weapons of mass destruction, seeking to deter their further use and to 'degrade' Syria's ability to use them." [HuffPost]

KERRY: LET'S GET BOMB-DROPPIN' - "Testifying to the House Foreign Affairs Committee on Wednesday, Secretary of State John Kerry said Syrian President Bashar Assad’s use of chemical weapons is 'a line that anyone with a conscience should draw.' He said US intelligence can prove Assad has used the weapons at least 11 times, and said North Korea and Iran were watching America closely. 'The world is wondering whether the United States of America is going to consent with silence,' Kerry said." [Associated Press]

The American Enterprise Institute might want to proofread its email blasts: "AEI Events: Rep. Tom Cotton Keynotes Al Qaeda Event" Thanks, AEI!

JANET YELLEN NOT GETTING MUCH LOVE INSIDE THE WEST WING - Times: "Many current and former presidential advisers also favor Mr. Summers, including several who had run-ins with him on policy, or chafed at what many call his condescension and arrogance. But they say Mr. Obama knows Mr. Summers so well, he does not need their input. Among the people the president is said to have consulted are Mr. Geithner, Mr. Lew and Mr. Axelrod. The list also includes Mayor Rahm Emanuel of Chicago, Mr. Obama’s first chief of staff and a Summers advocate, and Denis R. McDonough, the current chief of staff. (Aides say Mr. McDonough has stayed neutral.) Two of the most influential advisers on the nomination are the deputy chiefs of staff, Mr. Nabors and Alyssa Mastromonaco, given their knowledge of Senate confirmation politics. Also influential — and described as the one insider pulling for Ms. Yellen — is Valerie Jarrett, the president’s close adviser and longtime Chicago friend, who had a cool relationship with Mr. Summers." [NYT]

FYI: Kansas is instituting the food stamps work requirements that House Republicans want for every state.

DAILY DELANEY DOWNER - People are hungry in America, with 15 percent having trouble affording food at some point in the year. "In 2012, 5.7 percent of U.S. households (7.0 million households) had very low food security. In this more severe range of food insecurity, the food intake of some household members was reduced and normal eating patterns were disrupted at times during the year due to limited resources. The prevalence of very low food security was unchanged from 2011." [USDA.gov]

DOUBLE DOWNER - An unknown person has been leafletting Portland, Ore., neighborhoods with fliers that threaten to publicly name local recipients of food stamps and disability benefits. "There are twenty seven people in this neighborhood who vote and receive food stamps," said a flier distributed Monday, according to local TV station KPTV. "The names of these people are being posted where they can be seen by taxpayers and the neighborhood can decide who is truly in need of food." [HuffPost]

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BOEHNER TO RETIRE AFTER MIDTERMS: AIDES, OPERATIVES - Jon Ward and Grim: "Former aides to John Boehner and other high-level GOP operatives are increasingly convinced that the House Speaker will step aside after the 2014 midterm elections, according to interviews with a dozen Republican sources. All summer, rumors have been swirling around the Hill and K Street that the speaker has had enough ... Then the message went out in July...Boehner told his inner circle at dinner that there was no truth to the talk... A story appeared in Politico the next day, reaffirming Boehner's stated commitment to stay past 2014...But not everyone close to the 63-year-old speaker is so sure. 'He has to say that. He can't not say that. The minute you say [you're leaving], you're done,' said one former GOP leadership aide who is part of Boehner's circle....Boehner has plenty of reasons to make this coming year his last, but one may be more compelling than the others: It's not at all clear he could win. His deputy, Rep. Eric Cantor (R-Va.), is not expected to challenge him, but during the last election a bloc of insurgent tea partyers threatened to derail Boehner's election by depriving him of the 218 votes he needs to hold the gavel. The insurgents pulled back a bit, and Boehner won the speakership with 220 votes." [HuffPost]

JOE WILSON: SYRA STRIKES ARE MEANT TO MAKE US FORGET ABOUT OBAMACARE - Ahhhhh yes, the ol' diplomatic misdirection trick. Who can forget when George W. Bush bombed Iraq and, while we were all stood aghast at the shock and awe, he pulled a quarter out of Curveball's ear. Amanda Terkel: "At a House Foreign Affairs Committee hearing on Wednesday afternoon, Wilson -- who became famous for shouting 'You lie!' at the president during the 2009 State of the Union address -- pointed to an April 25 letter from the White House that said U.S. intelligence agencies had concluded 'with varying degrees of confidence' that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's forces had used chemical weapons on a small scale. 'Why was there no call for military response in April?" Wilson asked Secretary of State John Kerry, who was testifying before the committee. 'Was it delayed to divert attention today from the Benghazi, IRS, NSA scandals; the failure of Obamacare enforcement; the tragedy of the White House-drafted sequestration or the upcoming debt limit vote? Again, why was there no call for military response four months ago when the president's red line was crossed?" [HuffPost]

Odd bedfellows bombfellows: "On Tuesday, the Republican Jewish Coalition issued an action alert to its 45,000 members asking them to contact their congressional representatives in support of the use-of-force resolution. Major GOP donors sitting on the group's board of directors include Sheldon Adelson, who along with his wife pumped more than $100 million into the 2012 election; finance titans Peter Singer and Lewis Eisenberg; former ambassadors Mel Sembler and Sam Fox; and lobbyists Wayne Berman and Mark Isakowitz. Casino billionaire Adelson, in particular, is noted for his hawkish positions on Israel, Iran and, now apparently, Syria." [HuffPost's Paul Blumenthal]

LINCOLN CHAFEE WON'T SEEK REELECTION - The governor of Rhode Island, which is the Pepsi to Massachusetts' Coke, won't run for reelection after switching party affiliation in an attempt to preserve his political viability. Providence Journal: "In a move that dramatically shakes up Rhode Island's political world, Gov. Lincoln Chafee announced Wednesday outside the state Department of Motor Vehicles that he will not seek re-election next year... the governor said he found the 'irrational negativity' that came with running a state that has had among the highest unemployment rates in the nation in the years following the 2008 recession discouraging. 'It was worse than I anticipated,' Chafee said, pointing to political controversies ranging from his stances on illegal immigration to what to name the State House Christmas tree...the governor, who just months ago became a Democrat, said he would support the Democratic Party candidate, whomever that may be." [Providence Journal]

Anthony Weiner's forgiveness dance card is really filling up ahead of Rosh Hashanah: "New York City mayoral candidate Anthony Weiner got into a heated exchange with a voter on Wednesday. A video of the exchange was posted to YouTube by user jacob kornbluh, who notes that the exchange took place during campaign stop in Borough Park. 'You wait until I walk out to say anything? That's courage. That's courage,' Weiner says at the start of the video, yelling into the business he's seen leaving. After he's approached by the man from inside the business, Weiner gets defensive. 'What rabbi taught you you're my judge?' Weiner repeatedly says to the man, who is Jewish. 'You're fine,' the man says. 'You talk to God and work out your problems, but stay out of the public eye.' 'Go visit with your rabbi,' Weiner says during the exchange that follows." [HuffPost]

Paging Anthony Weiner, via Christina Wilkie: "Good news for anyone who trashed their already questionable reputation today (see: Weiner, Anthony): Former NRCC flack Craig Veith and former Blue Dog comms pro Scott Williams formed a new PR shop, ForeFront Strategies, with Jan Hyland, who came over from Burson-Marsteller ready and willing to take on clients' 'significant reputational challenges.'"

OUR KENYAN ANTI-COLONIAL PRESIDENT ORDERED THE SYRIAN CHEMICAL ATTACKS - Also the president has no white dogs. MoJo: "Today, though, Rush Limbaugh upped the ante, jabbering on air about an article by Yossef Bodansky titled 'Did the White House Help Plan the Syrian Chemical Attack?'...Bodansky, an Assad sympathizer who has previously suggested that the 1995 Oklahoma bombing was orchestrated by Iran and that Saddam's WMDs all ended up in Syria, tells a simple story. Starting on August 13, at a meeting between Syrian opposition leaders and representatives of Qatari, Turkish, and US intelligence, senior opposition commanders told everyone to expect 'a war-changing development' which would soon lead to a U.S. bombing campaign in Syria. Shortly afterward, a huge cache of weapons was released to the rebels under the supervision of US intelligence, and they were told to get ready to use them." [Mother Jones]

JEFF BEZOS TOURS WASHINGTON POST OFFICES - He was also so kind as to slap a barcode on his forehead and provide the staff with a tracking number to prepare for his arrival. Ba-dum-tish. Michael Calderone: "Amazon founder Jeff Bezos continued his two-day tour Wednesday through the newsroom of the The Washington Post, his first visit since agreeing to buy the paper last month for $250 million. The Post closely chronicled the previous day's arrival, publishing an interview in which the new owner spoke of a new "golden age" for the paper, and an evening story touring the newsroom. The Post described how Bezos struck a triangle Tuesday afternoon to call editors for their daily meeting, 'the chimes, amplified electronically across the Post's historic newsroom.' On Day 1, Bezos met with several Post executives, including publisher Katharine Weymouth, and editorial page editor Fred Hiatt and executive editor Marty Baron. On Day 2, he's expected to meet with many more members of the Post's staff, including reportedly having breakfast with Bob Woodward." [HuffPost]

BECAUSE YOU'VE READ THIS FAR - Here is a monkey frolicking in the snow.

DAILY CALLER ASSUMES PEOPLE CROSS THE BORDER IN MARIACHI OUTFITS - Of course, people have typically responded to being in Mariachi outfits by urging stoicism, hard work, marriage, prayer and personal initiative, and by stigmatizing unemployment and passivity. Roque Planas: "An article published by the conservative publication Monday used a photo of mariachis to symbolize undocumented immigrants. The article, covering the University of California at Los Angeles student body’s resolution to stop using the term 'illegal immigrant,' featured a split photo, with one side showing an anti-illegal immigration protest and the other side featuring mariachis wearing wide-brimmed sombreros...Daily Caller Education Editor Eric Owens responded to a request for comment by email, writing in Spanish...We appreciate the Spanish, though it's a little broken. Our rough translation: 'The Daily Caller is an organization that doesn't have a position on immigration. But, we love mariachia [sic] bands and we favorably embrace no reason that we can include their photos.'" [HuffPost]

COMFORT FOOD

- Movie voiceover guy narrates the lives of ordinary people. [http://bit.ly/177VVNq]

- The most quoted man in news isn't an expert on anything, which makes perfect sense. [http://nyr.kr/17ppOpa]

- The world's highest trickshot took place 96 meters above the rim. [http://deadsp.in/1fx21sr]

- This Japanese commercial for a USB drive/cigarette lighter makes Mr. Sparkle seem tame by comparison. [http://bit.ly/RI22Tu]

- Interactive map showing what countries were visited by each president since Teddy Roosevelt.[http://ti.me/177xqjt]

- The internet says the "Maraschino" is the newest "Harlem Shake," so enjoy the craze for the next week until you grow sick of it. [http://bit.ly/15YBq6c]

- ICYMI: Jon Stewart returned to "The Daily Show" last night. [http://huff.to/1cFR887]

TWITTERAMA

@kenvogel: What do boots on ground taste like, anyway? MT @RosieGray Gerry Connolly: "Not a prez who's hungering to invade & put boots on the ground."

@ClaraJeffery: I saw the best minds of my generation building apps to send sexts and brag about fitness and avoid the poors.

@LoganDobson: WaPo folks in my timeline reporting Jeff Bezos very handsome, intelligent, quotable, handsome

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