Several patrols cars were destroyed, officers injured and a perpetrator killed in one of the less destructive incidents in Congress this week. Public servants spent another day eating entire boxes of Cheez-Its, watching "Texas Justice" and wondering why the hell they squandered a masters degree on this bullshit. And John Boehner will try to raise the debt ceiling, a move that might not please his conference but we're QUITE SURE that 2015 will be a banner year for Boehner Government Relations LLP. This is HUFFPOST HILL For Thursday, October 3rd, 2013:
REVENGE OF THE NERDS - #stopbullying. Sam Stein: "Three senior Obama administration officials have made it abundantly clear that the president has no interest in budging from his position on the government shutdown or the looming debt ceiling fight. The officials met with a handful of columnists and reporters on Thursday morning on condition that they not be named or quoted. They said President Barack Obama feels as strongly about this issue as he has about anything else during his time in office, including passing health care reform. The meeting came the day after congressional leaders and the president met in the White House in hopes of finding a path forward on the dual budget fights. That meeting ended without an agreement. And the fact that both sides continued a media blitz the morning after suggests that a resolution remains far off. What's driving the president, his aides stressed, is a belief that he needs to reorient the balance of powers within the federal government. The three officials repeatedly argued that the losing party in a national election couldn't be allowed to essentially nullify the results of that election through budget sabotage." [HuffPost]
@Chris_Moody: Cantor skeptical a clean CR could get enough Dem votes to pass the House. Odd they won't vote on it then.
REPORT: BOEHNER WON'T LET NATION DEFAULT - Sooooooo, congratulations to Speaker Virginia Foxx? NYT: "Speaker John A. Boehner has told colleagues that he is determined to prevent a federal default and is willing to pass a measure through a combination of Republican and Democratic votes, according to multiple House Republicans. One lawmaker, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, said Mr. Boehner had indicated he would be willing to violate the so-called Hastert Rule if necessary to pass a debt-limit increase. The informal rule refers to a policy of not bringing to the floor any measure that does not have a majority of Republican votes. A spokesman for Mr. Boehner pushed back on the idea that the speaker would try to pass a debt-limit increase mainly with Democratic votes, but acknowledged that the speaker understood the need to head off a default... In meetings with Republican lawmakers, the speaker appeared to be offering reassurances to members worried about the government shutdown that he would not allow a default to take place. Other Republicans also said Thursday that they got the sense that Mr. Boehner would do whatever was necessary to ensure that the country did not default on its debt." [NYT]
Republican Rep. Marlin Stutzman: “We’re not going to be disrespected. We have to get something out of this. And I don’t know what that even is.” [Examiner]
NO MONEY FOR GRANDMA - President Barack Obama said Thursday that while it's bad members of Congress have allowed a government shutdown, it would be worse if they failed to increase the government's borrowing authority later this month. First and foremost, he said, retirement and disability benefits for millions of Americans would be at risk. "In a government shutdown, Social Security checks still go out on time," Obama said. "In an economic shutdown, if we don't raise the debt ceiling, they don't go out on time." [HuffPost]
THANKS FOR YOUR SERVICE, NOW GO SCREW YOURSELF - Republicans tell HuffPost Hill that there might be federal employees working inside the government. They aren't sure how deep the conspiracy runs. Amanda Terkel: "On Thursday evening, nine outstanding public servants will receive a prestigious award for improving the lives of the American public. Four of them, however, are considered 'nonessential' and are currently furloughed due to the government shutdown. The nonprofit Partnership for Public Service will be presenting Samuel J. Heyman Service to America Medals -- better known as 'Sammies' -- to these nine individuals, who were nominated by their colleagues...Air Force Deputy Assistant Secretary for Energy Kevin Geiss will be receiving the Management Excellence Medal on Thursday. He found ways to save energy by using alternative fuels for fighter jets and instituting conservation programs that reduced utility costs at military bases. In all, these measures saved the Air Force more than $1 billion last year. But Geiss, with about 800,000 other public servants, has been furloughed while the federal government remains shut down. " [HuffPost]
DAILY DELANEY DOWNER - Yanina Fiallos of Alexandria, Va., said she'd worked at the Subway sandwich shop in the Ronald Reagan Building's food court for six years before being laid off when the shutdown started this week. "It's really bad because I rely on my paycheck to pay my rent," Fiallos said in Spanish. "Without that income, what can I do? I have three kids to take care of." Nyah Potts of Clinton, Md., started working as a server at Aria, a pizza restaurant in the Reagan Building, earlier this year. She said her tips have already dwindled since the end of the summer rush. She's worried the shutdown will make things even slower. "I'm out of money, which is why I'm pretty worried about the shutdown," Potts, 29, said in an interview. "Fewer shifts and definitely less money immediately." She's not impressed by the shutdown. "I think it's absolutely ludicrous," she said. "It's just people trying to be a stick in the mud and be defiant rather than accept change and accept that people need health care." [HuffPost]
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CAPITOL COMPLEX CAR CHASE ENDS WITH PERP DEAD, SEVERAL INJURED - HuffPost: "A law enforcement official told Luke Johnson of The Huffington Post that a suspect struck a bollard at 15th Street and Pennsylvania Avenue NW just outside the White House before fleeing towards the U.S. Capitol. The suspect was 'pulled over' at 2nd Street and Constitution Avenue NE. Both NBC and ABC reported that the suspect was a woman, and that she had a child in her car. NBC reported that the child was taken to a hospital but was not injured. Dine said that one officer was injured during the incident after being struck in his cruiser. No officers were shot. 'This appears to be an isolated incident with just one vehicle involved,' Dine said." [HuffPost]
@DomenicoNBC: Capitol police say all shots fired were by police not the driver. @IsikoffNBC
UM… - "Rep. Michael McCaul, R-Tex., who said he was briefed by the Homeland Security Department, said the woman was killed. Asked if she was armed, he replied: 'I don't think she was. There was no return fire.'" [Associated Press]
@dougmillsnyt: A staffer checks his phone as police take aim on the grounds of the Capitol. pic.twitter.com/OPRjoTpQIF
Bang bang bang: Shooting at cars is not so great. A Pulitzer-winning Washington Post series in 1998 questioned the D.C. police department's habit of shooting at moving vehicles. From the story on moving targets: "In each case, the officer said he was forced to fire to prevent a 'vehicular attack' by the driver. But the department eventually determined all three of the shootings to be unjustified. In the last six months, the District has agreed to pay $775,000 to settle lawsuits brought by survivors in the three cases. Like their counterparts in cities across the United States, D.C. police are instructed to shoot at unarmed people in cars only in extremely rare cases, to protect their lives or the lives of others. Yet since mid-1993, D.C. police officers have fired their weapons at cars 54 times in response to alleged vehicular attacks, killing nine people and wounding 19, an eight-month Washington Post investigation has found. In the overwhelming majority of those cases -- and in all of the fatal shootings -- the driver was unarmed." [WashPost]
The stories resulted in an investigation by none other than Eric Holder.
Volatile week all around: "A minor altercation occurred Wednesday night involving Rep. Sean P. Duffy, R-Wis., according to Capitol Hill sources. Duffy’s office is confirming that 'a minor incident happened last night as the congressman was walking to the Capitol for final votes.'...“A random individual, unknown to the congressman, began screaming at him and grabbed his arm,” said spokeswoman Cassie Smedile in a Thursday morning statement. 'Mr. Duffy was unharmed. He reported the incident in compliance with House security procedures. Congressman Duffy has requested no further action be taken and there will be no further comment on the matter at this time.'" [Roll Call]
PERSON ENROLLS IN OBAMACARE - Only 25 million to go. Jeff Young: "Three days into the first six months of enrollment on Obamacare's websites, the federal government won't say how many Americans have signed up so far amid widespread technical glitches. But at least one family was able to navigate the websites and sign up for coverage. Just after midnight on the first day of sign-up Tuesday, Chad Henderson, 21, and his 58-year-old father, Bill, jumped onto HealthCare.gov, the portal for the more than 30 health insurance exchanges being run by the federal government and the marketplaces operated by 16 states and the District of Columbia. 'I was excited,' Chad Henderson said in a telephone interview with The Huffington Post Thursday. He had seen on Twitter that the exchanges opened at midnight. 'We stood on there until about 3 in the morning,' he said. Chad and his father live in Flintstone, Ga., near the Tennessee border, about 5 miles from Chattanooga." [HuffPost]
GOP GOVERNORS GIVING THEIR CITIZENS LIBERTY AND DEATH - This is America, why choose? NYT: "A sweeping national effort to extend health coverage to millions of Americans will leave out two-thirds of the poor blacks and single mothers and more than half of the low-wage workers who do not have insurance, the very kinds of people that the program was intended to help, according to an analysis of census data by The New York Times. Because they live in states largely controlled by Republicans that have declined to participate in a vast expansion of Medicaid, the medical insurance program for the poor, they are among the eight million Americans who are impoverished, uninsured and ineligible for help. The federal government will pay for the expansion through 2016 and no less than 90 percent of costs in later years. Those excluded will be stranded without insurance, stuck between people with slightly higher incomes who will qualify for federal subsidies on the new health exchanges that went live this week, and those who are poor enough to qualify for Medicaid in its current form, which has income ceilings as low as $11 a day in some states." [NYT]
HASTERT DISOWNS RULE - Next thing you know the family of the late William Ginsburg will be disputing his Sunday show history. Salon: "Former House Speaker Dennis Hastert says the famous—or infamous—rule that bears his name doesn't actually exist. 'There really wasn't a 'Hastert Rule,'' the longest-serving Republican speaker, who is now a lobbyist and consultant, told National Journal in a phone interview Wednesday evening. The Hastert Rule, as it's become known, is more of a self-imposed standard that says House leaders shouldn't allow a vote on a bill unless it has the support of the majority of their own party. The rule has been cited as the reason Speaker John Boehner won't bring up a clean continuing resolution to reopen the government, even though it probably has the 218 votes needed to pass, as well as the reason Congress can't pass immigration reform, new gun-control laws, or much else. If Boehner were only willing to break the Hastert Rule more often, the thinking goes, the possibilities would be endless. Of course, that's probably not going to happen, but either way, Hastert says don't blame him. "That was a misnomer at a press conference. One time they asked me about immigration legislation, why don't I just use Democrat votes? I said, well I'm never going to not have a majority of my own party go along with me. If you do that, then you're not using your own policy. And [the press] blew that up as the Hastert Rule. The Hastert Rule, really, was: If you don't have 218 votes, you didn't bring the bill to the floor," he explained." [WaPo]
HATERS GONNA HATE - Today in "Guy making six-figures declares himself not rich." Amanda Terkel: "Rep. Kevin Cramer (R-N.D.) won't be joining the more than 100 lawmakers who are giving up their pay during the shutdown. 'I'm staying here, and I'm working,' said Cramer in an interview with Valley News Live on Wednesday. 'My office is open, we're taking phone calls, I'm voting every day, I'm debating every day, I'm going to countless meetings. I'm working to earn the salary that the people pay me to do the job. I don't get into those sort of stunt-y things, and I'm not going to do it.' 'I will continue to earn it, and I will continue to collect what I earn, yes,' he added. The rest of the North Dakota congressional delegation -- Sens. Heidi Heitkamp (D-N.D.) and John Hoeven (R-N.D.) -- plan to donate their pay to charity while the government is shut down. Cramer also argued that he is not wealthy and therefore can't really afford to give up his salary. 'If you want a Congress that's full of millionaires and doctors' spouses, this is a great little trick,' he said. 'But our office is open and I'm working, and I'm not going to get into the gimmicks. We have big issues we have to deal with.'" [HuffPost]
*** America's Essential Hospitals - An essential partner in better health and economic outcomes. NAPH is now America's Essential Hospitals. ***
GOD SAVE THE QUEEN - So beings HuffPost Hill's campaign to have America rejoin the Commonwealth (added bonus: Corgies!). WaPo: " In 1975, the Australian government shut down because the legislature had failed to fund it, deadlocked by a budgetary squabble. It looked a lot like the U.S. shutdown of today, or the 17 previous U.S. shutdowns. Australia's 1975 shutdown ended pretty differently, though, than they do here in America. Queen Elizabeth II's official representative in Australia, Governor General Sir John Kerr, simply dismissed the prime minister. He appointed a replacement, who immediately passed the spending bill to fund the government. Three hours later, Kerr dismissed the rest of Parliament. Then Australia held elections to restart from scratch. And they haven't had another shutdown since." [WaPo]
Congressman orders park closed, yells at public employee for closing park. Jason Linkins: "Mark Segraves, reporting for NBC News' Washington affiliate, managed to capture the howler highlight of the Great World War II Memorial Bleat-n-Repeat -- Rep. Randy Neugebauer's (R-Tex.) Wednesday confrontation of a poor park ranger on the scene -- who was doing nothing more than her job -- blaming her for the closure he voted for and telling her that she should be ashamed of herself...From there, Segraves reports, 'a crowd of onlookers got involved,' and began loudly demanding that Neugebauer lay off the park ranger, pointing out again and again that the reason everyone was in the position they were in was due to the fact that Congress very specifically put them there. Neugebauer countered that it was all really Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid's (D-Nev.) fault, but that failed to impress anyone." [HuffPost]
BECAUSE YOU'VE READ THIS FAR - Here is a beagle that sounds like a dinosaur.
Marylanders are OK with you getting blazed out of your mind, hon: "Just as a ban on synthetic marijuana has gone into effect in Maryland, a new poll released Thursday finds widespread support there for the real thing. The poll, commissioned by the American Civil Liberties Union and the Marijuana Policy Project, found that 53 percent of Maryland voters support making marijuana legal for adults, while 38 percent are opposed. Sixty-eight percent of those surveyed said they support removing criminal penalties for possession of up to one ounce of marijuana, while 26 percent said they oppose that smaller step." [HuffPost]
- Video showing the fluctuating front lines in Europe during every day of World War Two. [http://bit.ly/19X3lSc]
- Famous comic book heroes replaced with lamps. [http://bit.ly/1bucubA]
- A map showing each country's most popular website. For some reason Yahoo is the most popular one in Japan. [http://bit.ly/1blzlpR]
- Sinead O'Connor wrote an open letter to Miley Cyrus. The zeitgeist never fails to disappoint. [http://bit.ly/17uw4QU]
A collection of the New York Times' awkward descriptions of Twittr. [http://bit.ly/15LgbC3]
- How tall would your Twitter timeline be if you could extend your screen both ways? [http://bit.ly/1g0giAU]
@TinaDupry: If the shooter is a single mother who works in a diner - I quit.
@KagroX: Remember that scene in Braveheart, where they've got Wallace on the rack, and with his dying breath, he yells, "RRRRRREPEEEAAAAAAAL!"?
@JPFreire: Sean Duffy's assault shows we now live in a world where people have stopped being polite.
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