POLITICS
09/19/2013 06:27 pm ET Updated Nov 19, 2013

HUFFPOST HILL - Big Ramen Wins Again As House Cuts Food Stamps

The House won a major victory in America's ongoing obesity epidemic when it voted to cut $40 billion from nutrition programs. Ted Cruz made sense, though it remains unclear how Tea Party activists will punish him for doing so. And conservative activists will urge college students not to enroll in Obamacare, because if there's one thing a group of people who have multiple sex partners and play Edwards 40-hands *don't* need, it's health insurance. This is HUFFPOST HILL for Thursday, September 19th, 2013:

HOUSE DEFEATS SCOURGE OF NUTRITION - With Mike McAuliff: The House of Representatives approved sweeping reforms to the nation's food stamp program on Thursday that would cut some $40 billion in nutrition aid over 10 years and deny benefits to millions starting in 2014. By 217 to 210 the House PASS the measure, with it Republican backers arguing it would help more people find jobs. "This bill is designed to give people a hand when they need it most. Most people don't chose to be on food stamps. Most people want a job," House Majority Leader Rep. Eric Cantor (R-Calif.) "Most people want to go out and be productive so that they can earn a living, so that they can support a family, so that they can have hope for a more prosperous future. They want what we want." While most proponents argued like Cantor that they were just promoting work, there was also an undercurrent of accusation that many Americans are abusing the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program to sponge off of taxpayers. "If you're a healthy adult and don't have someone relying on you to care for them, you ought to earn the benefits you receive," said Rep. Tim Huelskamp (R-Kan.). "Look for work. Start job training to improve your skills or do community service. But you can no longer sit on your couch or ride a surfboard like Jason in California and expect the federal taxpayer to feed you." [HuffPost]

One National Review contributor thought that was a really dumb food stamps bill.

TED CRUZ SAYS SEMI-SANE THING, WILL SUFFER THE CONSEQUENCES - Let us now pause to contemplate the nature of someone who primary challenges Ted Cruz... from the right. Jen Bendery: "Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) didn't have much to say Thursday in response to House Republicans fuming at him for conceding that the Democratic-controlled Senate doesn't have the votes to repeal Obamacare and leaving the battle -- and all its political perils -- for House conservatives to fight. In fact, Cruz, a tea party favorite who has championed an Obamacare repeal, went further and said even some Senate Republicans don't support the latest push for defunding President Barack Obama's signature health care law. He also said a full repeal of Obamacare doesn't have a chance until at least after the 2014 elections...House Republicans leaders have been counting on Cruz and other Senate conservatives to lead on the issue in their chamber. Particularly after beingberated by Cruz on the need to keep a government shutdown on the table in the Obamacare fight, House conservatives are not happy with Cruz appearing to throw up "a white flag" now, as one lawmaker put it. Still, Cruz made the case Wednesday that people need to keep fighting on the issue." [HuffPost]

Hell no you can: "House Speaker John A. Boehner (R-Ohio) joined other Republican lawmakers in calling for Senate conservatives to put up a strong fight against President Obama's health-care law. 'It's time for them to pick up the mantle and get the job done,' Boehner told reporters Thursday, responding to questions about comments from Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Tex.)." [WaPo]

Karl Rove is not crazy about the Obamacare defunding: "One day after House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) said that the House would vote to link a government funding bill with a measure to defund Obamacare, Karl Rove came out strongly against the idea. 'The desire to strike at ObamaCare is praiseworthy. But any strategy to repeal, delay or replace the law must have a credible chance of succeeding or affecting broad public opinion positively,' he wrote Thursday in a Wall Street Journal op-ed." [HuffPost's Luke Johnson]

DAILY DELANEY DOWNER - A top GOP talking point on food stamps: Don't feed the lazy surfers. "Newscasts tell stories of young surfers who aren't working, but cash their food stamps in for lobster," the office of House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) has said in background documents explaining the proposals to reporters.
The newscasts in question are two Fox News stories about one 29-year-old California food stamp recipient named Jason Greenslate who harbors no ambition to get a job. "This is the way I want to live and I don't really see anything changing," the man said in the stories, copies of which Fox distributed to Capitol Hill offices. "It's free food; it's awesome." [HuffPost]

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TOM DELAY'S CONVICTION OVERTURNED - Who says the criminal justice system has a problem? Houston Chronicle: "An Austin appeals court on Thursday overturned the conviction of former U.S. House Majority Leader Tom DeLay on charges related to a scheme to influence Texas elections. The vote by the 3rd Court of Appeals in Austin was 2-1. DeLay's three-year prison sentence has been on hold as his case has made its way through the appellate process. Delay was convicted in 2010 of illegally channeling $190,000 in corporate donations to Republicans running for the Texas Legislature. State law prohibits corporate campaign contributions to local races. A jury in Austin found that DeLay's actions-collecting checks, moving the funds through a political action committee and distributing the donations to state candidates-violated state money-laundering statutes. 'Because we conclude that the evidence was legally insufficient to sustain DeLay's convictions, we reverse the judgments of the trial court and render judgments of acquittal,' the majority opinion by Justice Melissa Goodwin states. Justice David Gaultney concurred." [Chronicle]

HuffPost Hill's Former Abramoff Lobbyist Pissed At Things weighs in: "FALPAT putting down the fully depressing, un-Signatures-like bottle of screw top wine available only to the unemployed, EBT cardholders and ObamaPhone users in the hope of getting an invite to both the Tom DeLay acquittal celebration party tonight in DC and the team selecting appropriate legal counsel for former Travis County Prosecutor, Ronnie Earle. I am not going to help Earle, of course. Rather I am going to give him repeated wedgies to prepare him for what is coming.... #DoYouLikeApplesRonnie?" Thanks, FALPAT!

OBAMACARE DEFUNDING WOULD HURT CHILDREN'S HEALTH INITIATIVE - The "::cough cough:: Please, sir, can I have some more FY 2014 Appropriations Bill" would really hurt America's kids. Laura Bassett: "A House Republican proposal to defund the Affordable Care Act would also devastate a program that insured over 8 million moderate-income children this year, Democrats said on Thursday. Under the government funding bill proposed by the House -- which includes Rep. Steve Scalise's (R-La.) amendment defunding Obamacare -- the Children's Health Insurance Program would lose about $13.3 billion dollars, or 70 percent of its funding, on October 1. CHIP provides health insurance coverage to children whose families earn too much to qualify for Medicaid, but still cannot afford private coverage. The program was set to expire at the end of this month, but the Affordable Care Act reauthorized and funded it through 2015." [HuffPost]

No no no no no no: "Generation Opportunity, a Virginia-based group that is part of a coalition of right-leaning organizations with financial ties to billionaire businessmen and political activists Charles and David Koch, will launch a six-figure campaign aimed at convincing young people to 'opt-out' of the Obamacare exchanges. Later this month, the group will begin a tour of 20 college campuses, where they plan to set up shop alongside pro-Obamacare activists such as Enroll America that are working to sign people up for the insurance exchanges. Generation Opportunity intends to host events at college football tailgate parties festivals, where 'brand ambassadors' (read: hot young people) will pass out beer koozies that read 'opt out,' pizza and literature about the health care law. Some events may have impromptu dance parties with DJ's, complete with games of cornhole and competitions for prizes, organizers said...The group's college tour will coincide with the release of an online video series featuring an Uncle Sam character that looks more like a terrifying circus clown than the guy who wants you to join the Army." [Yahoo News]

SEQUESTRATION SHUT DOWN FBI TRAINING - But how will America stop serial killers if we don't have ambitious cadets who speak with incarcerated cannibals? Ryan Reilly: "Sequestration has forced the Federal Bureau of Investigation to stop training new agents at the FBI Academy in Quantico, Va., FBI Director James Comey told reporters Thursday. 'Quantico is quiet. I have no new agent classes going through there," Comey said. "I can't afford it.' Comey, who became FBI director on Sept. 4, choked up several times as he discussed the impact of sequestration on FBI employees, who may be facing two weeks of furloughs in addition to layoffs. 'Frankly, as a taxpayer and as an American, I was surprised and it didn't make any sense to me that the FBI director would be asked not just to cut 3,000 positions -- but, given what's on our plate, to send my folks home for a few weeks without pay,' Comey said." [HuffPost]

GAY AGENDA UPDATE - The "Mandatory Gay Ring AIDS Transmission Bill" will be next week. Amanda Terkel: "A bipartisan group of lawmakers in the House and Senate is introducing legislation that would ensure that same-sex partners of federal employees -- even those in domestic partnerships or civil unions -- will receive the same benefits offered to heterosexual spouses. The Senate version of the Domestic Partnership Benefits and Obligations Act is cosponsored by Sens. Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.) and Susan Collins (R-Maine). Baldwin is the first openly gay lawmaker elected to the Senate, and Collins is one of the few Republicans in Congress who supports legislation barring workplace discrimination against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender individuals. The House version of the legislation is cosponsored by Reps. Mark Pocan (D-Wis.), Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-Fla.) and Gerry Connolly (D-Va.). Ros-Lehtinen is a vocal advocate in her party for marriage equality." [HuffPost]

Hizzoner, Billy de Blasio: "There are yawning racial gaps on many issues as Public Advocate Bill de Blasio, the Democratic candidate for New York City mayor, leads Republican candidate Joe Lhota on every measure except taxes and has a commanding 66 - 25 percent lead among likely voters, according to a Quinnipiac University poll completed last night and released today...De Blasio leads 52 - 40 percent among white voters, 90 - 3 percent among black voters and 68 - 18 percent among Hispanic voters. He leads 63 - 29 percent among men and 69 - 21 percent among women and has leads of 30 percent or higher among every income, education and age group...Lhota's only lead is among Republicans, 79 - 15 percent, while de Blasio leads 82 - 11 percent among Democrats and 53 - 36 percent among independent voters." [Quinnipiac]

BECAUSE YOU'VE READ THIS FAR - Here is a grandma who doesn't take crap.

'T-H-I-S... T-O-W-N' - Chris Gentilviso: "Every year, children around the U.S. gather up their courage to compete on the biggest of stages in the Scripps National Spelling Bee. For the first time in 100 years, politicians and the press faced that same pressure. The National Press Club held its Centennial Spelling Bee on Wednesday, commemorating the 1913 showdown between lawmakers and reporters. Back then, an Ohio congressman emerged victorious and President Woodrow Wilson was among the attendees. A full century later, the individual title again went to the politicians, as Sen. Tim Kaine (D-Va.) topped Politico's Rebecca Sinderbrand in the final round. Kaine's championship word was both fitting and sweet, as "nonpareil" sealed his victory. The journalists held their own in the team competition, edging out the lawmakers in words spelled correctly, 38-36. Representing The Huffington Post was Editorial Director Howard Fineman, who like Kaine, joked that Wednesday would "definitely be the first and last time" he ever does anything like this." [HuffPost]

COMFORT FOOD

- Waldorf the Cat can't get enough of the Discovery Channel. [http://huff.to/18cqm6a]

- Speeding car films individual frames from an Xbox racing game. The result its astounding. [http://bit.ly/156WCci]

- Pantsuit really turns this woman's life around. [http://bit.ly/1gEdLtE]

- Scientists confirm that the best way to get served first at a bar is to stand "squarely to the bar and looking directly at the barman as they moved around." Thanks, scientists! [http://bit.ly/1drz1mO]

- The Will Smith/Daft Punk mashup you didn't know you needed. [http://bit.ly/17MvHjV]

- Six animals that look scarier than they actually are. [http://bit.ly/1aVbb5q]

- Witness evolution in action as this dog figures out how to escape from a kitchen. [http://bit.ly/16ERwlT]

TWITTERAMA

@elisefoley: What's more horrible: flack vs. flack twitter fights, flack vs. reporter, or reporter vs. reporter? Trick question they're all great.

@KagroX: Not saying Cruz should try this, but one procedural option to block Obamacare would be making fart noises with his armpit for hours on end.

@daveweigel: It is a crime against justice that great NYC political reporters no longer have a race to cover. Boston exchange program?

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