POLITICS

HUFFPOST HILL - Toronto Mayor Sorry Aboot His Crack Habit

11/05/2013 05:18 pm ET | Updated Jan 23, 2014

Not since a coke rock dangled from Neil Young's nose in "The Last Waltz" has America been so transfixed a Canadian's public drug use. Terry McAuliffe will likely be elected governor of Virginia, though it's unclear if he'll swing by a fundraiser on the way to his victory party. And Rand Paul will be adding footnotes to all his plagiarized works in hopes that this controversy disappears * . This is HUFFPOST HILL for Tuesday, November 5th, 2013:

* Pffffffft

It's election day! We'll be posting live results from across the country at HuffPost's results page.

SENATE TO TAKE UP DISABILITY TREATY AGAIN - Roll Call: "The Foreign Relations panel is scheduled to hold a two-part hearing on the treaty Tuesday at 2:30 p.m., with the first panel anchored by Sen. Kelly Ayotte, R-N.H. — one of eight Republicans who voted with Democrats the first time around — and Sen. Mark S. Kirk, R-Ill., a Naval reserve veteran who suffered a stroke in January 2012 and faces physical impediments as a result. In the second panel, Rep. Tammy Duckworth, D-Ill., a veteran who lost her legs in Iraq, and former Homeland Security Secretary Thomas Ridge, who now chairs the National Organization on Disability, are among the notable speakers...With 55 Democrats and five Republicans who voted in favor for the treaty last time, supporters need to find a handful of GOP senators to break ranks and approve the treaty. Kirk would bring the whip count to 61 and Sen. Thad Cochran, R-Miss... also could be a 'yes' this time. Look for Republicans Bob Corker and Lamar Alexander of Tennessee to be top targets for vote-switching, as Corker now is the ranking member on Foreign Relations. Other Republicans to watch might be Lindsey Graham of South Carolina (Ayotte and John McCain of Arizona both voted for the treaty in 2012), Dean Heller of Nevada, Rob Portman of Ohio and Jerry Moran of Kansas (whose late decision to cast a 'no' vote in 2012 was viewed largely as the final move that collapsed its chances of passage)." [Roll Call]

MAGICAL POLICY GIVES MONEY TO SENIORS & REDUCES SPENDING SIMULTANEOUSLY - A controversial proposal that would save the government billions by changing the way Social Security benefits are adjusted each year would actually give seniors more spending money, Republicans in the House of Representatives claimed Monday. The so-called "chained CPI" is an alternate version of the consumer price index that the government uses to calculate cost-of-living adjustments for Social Security and other programs. The Congressional Budget Office says switching to the chained CPI would reduce Social Security spending by $127 billion over 10 years. But the House Ways and Means Committee, which oversees Social Security and is led by Rep. Dave Camp (R-Mich.), said the policy would have given seniors a bigger increase than they'll be getting from the regular inflation gauge next year. "If the more accurate chained CPI was used to determine the 2014 cost of living increase, seniors would see a 1.7 percent increase as opposed to this year’s increase of 1.5 percent," Ways and Means Republicans said on their website. Guffaw! [HuffPost]

STABENOW POCKETING FOOD STAMP SAVINGS IN FARM BILL TALKS - Democratic legislation resulted in a food stamp cut that'll take $5 billion from the program just next year. Republicans, the party that wants to cut food stamps, has been silent about the Democratic cut -- which is 25 percent bigger than what the GOP has sought for 2014 -- and Democrats have hoped nobody would notice it was their fault. But Debbie Stabenow says put those cuts on the scoreboard. David Rogers: "Those reductions will reduce spending by as much as $11 billion over the period used by the Congressional Budget Office to score the farm bill. Typically, these are not counted since the savings result from prior actions by Congress. But Stabenow said they cannot be ignored. 'I am counting them,' she told POLITICO. 'That’s real and if [the House’s] objective is to cut help for people, that started last Friday. I do count that. In fairness, that needs to be counted.'" [Politico]

DAILY DELANEY DOWNER - From our ongoing series PASTED: The Email of the Jobless, here is a letter from an out-of-work food stamp recipient upset her monthly benefit has just been reduced: "No one will hire me. I am 5 months behind on my mortgage and now I will be even hungrier than before. The $200 a month was never enough to begin with. It makes me cry just thinking about my desperate situation. To the fat cats 11 dollars I guess is nothing. To me in meant a weeks worth of food. I was a bookkeeper for 20 years and now I can't find a job. I don't know what to do. I feel like a failure and just want to take care of myself like I always did, but if no one hires me I don't know what to do." [Hang in there!]

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VA GOV: ROBOCALLS ACCUSE MCAULIFFE OF 'ABORTION ON DEMAND' - Presumably "abortion on demand" is one of the services offered at the abortionplex. Amanda Terkel: "Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli (R) has been getting a last-minute boost in his bid for governor, with a number of robocalls accusing his Democratic opponent of profiting off a dying man and favoring 'abortion on demand.' The Virginia Republican Party, Catholic Association and Virginia Principles Fund all robocalled Old Dominion voters on Monday, just one day before they headed to the polls, urging them to vote for Cuccinelli over Democrat Terry McAuliffe. Recordings of the calls were posted online by Shaun Dakin of StopPoliticalCalls.org. The robocalls from the latter two groups praise Cuccinelli's stance on abortion -- a risky strategy considering women are overwhelmingly siding with McAuliffe in the race. Cuccinelli is a vocal opponent of abortion and has backed legislation that couldlimit access to contraception. The calls also charge that McAuliffe supports 'abortion on demand.' The McAuliffe campaign has said the candidate 'supports keeping existing Virginia laws on when abortions are legal.' Virginia currently bars third-trimester abortions except to protect the life or health of the mother." [HuffPost]

MCCONNELL, PAUL PROPOSE RIGHT-TO-WORK AMENDMENT TO ENDA BILL - Why stop there? Why not try to defund Obamacare? Or privatize the Bureau of Land Management? Dave Jamieson: "Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) have proposed an amendment to a workplace discrimination bill in the hopes of creating a national right-to-work law. The measure -- which, as Roll Call reported Monday, would be tacked onto the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA) -- would forbid contracts between companies and labor unions that require workers to pay the union for bargaining on their behalf. Prized by Republicans and business groups and loathed by unions, such laws have made it onto the books in 24 states, most recently in Michigan. Speaking on the Senate floor Tuesday, McConnell praised Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder (R), who signed the state law in December after it was fast-tracked through the Republican-controlled legislature. McConnell said he and Paul were following Snyder's lead." [HuffPost]

That's more like it: "Sen. David Vitter (R-La.) is pushing for an abortion vote during this week's unrelated debate on the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, three Senate aides confirmed Tuesday to The Huffington Post. Vitter wants a vote on his proposed ban on sex-selective abortions as part of the amendment process for the LGBT workplace discrimination bill, according to Democratic and Republican aides, though the legislation has nothing to do with abortion. The Louisiana Republican first introduced his bill, the Prenatal Nondiscrimination Act, in June 2012." [HuffPost's Jen Bendery]

Harry Reid putting the screws on John Boehner: "Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) predicted on Tuesday that if the House voted on the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, it would pass. The problem, however, is that House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) won't let it come up for a vote. 'I was also stunned when the speaker said today he wasn't even going to bring it up for a vote,' said Reid in a speech on the House floor Tuesday morning. 'Yesterday he said he just didn't like it. Today he said he's not even going to bring it up for a vote. If it came up for a vote in the House, it would pass.'" [HuffPost's Amanda Terkel]

This is even funnier when you recall McCain/Palin's "celebrity" attack ad: "Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), considered a possible backer of the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, skipped a key vote on the bill on Monday to tape an appearance on 'Late Night with Jimmy Fallon.' The Senate narrowly voted to begin debate on ENDA Monday night, with the bill's cosponsors lobbying Republican lawmakers until the very last minute to get their support. McCain is one of the Republican senators LGBT advocates believe may ultimately vote for the bill...McCain's appearance on Fallon's show aired early Tuesday morning. He talked about some of his old nicknames, such as McNasty and White Tornado, during the interview." [HuffPost]

FINE, RAND PAUL WILL START CITING SOURCES... UGH - We expected more from a guy with dubious medical credentials. Times: "Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky, who in recent weeks has had to explain a series of plagiarism charges, said in an interview Tuesday that he was being held to an unfair standard, but that there would be an office 'restructuring' to prevent future occurrences. Sitting in a conference room in his Senate office complex, Mr. Paul, drawn and clearly shaken by the plagiarism charges, offered a mix of contrition and defiance. He said that he was not certain whether it would affect his prospects should he decide to run for president in 2016 -- he said he would happily return to his Kentucky doctor’s practice -- and he asserted that was being unfairly targeted. Acknowledging that his office had “made mistakes,” he said he was putting a new system in place to ensure that all of his materials are properly footnoted and cited. 'What we are going to do from here forward, if it will make people leave me the hell alone, is we’re going to do them like college papers,' he said. 'We’re going to try to put out footnotes. We’re going to have them available. If people want to request the footnoted version, we’re going to have it available.'" [NYT]

SENATE REPUBLICANS DONATING TO ENZI - WaPo: "Republican senators take notice when one of their own gets a serious primary challenge. That’s the lesson to learn from Sen. Mike Enzi’s (R-Wyo.) recent campaign finance report, which is chock full of contributions from Enzi’s Senate colleagues, both past and present. Enzi collected more than $150,000 from fellow senators between July 1 and Sept. 30, according to the report filed with the Federal Election Commission. That was about one-sixth of the $847,646 Enzi took in during the third quarter of the year. This year, Enzi has collected $207,500 from his colleagues. A total of 29 sitting senators gave to the Wyoming Republican through their political action committees, the report shows. Those senators run the gamut from leadership to back-benchers, from moderates to conservatives and from old bulls and young pups. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell wrote two $5,000 checks; Sens. John Cornyn (R-Tex.) and Roy Blunt (R-Mo.) gave $5,000 apiece. So did Sens. Dan Coats (R-Ind.), Dean Heller (R-Nev.), Richard Burr (R-N.C.) and Thad Cochran (R-Miss.). Sens. John McCain (R-Ariz.), John Thune (R-S.D.) and Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) all kicked in $10,000 total." [WaPo]

NOT CLEAR HOW BADLY WENDY DAVIS IS LOSING: POLLS - She really should think of November 4th, 2014 less as the end of the election campaign and more the day before she signs on as MSNBC contributor. Ariel Edwards-Levy: "Texas state Sen. Wendy Davis (D-Fort Worth) is lagging 15 points behind Republican Greg Abbott in next year's race for Texas governor, according to a poll released Tuesday by the Democratic firm Public Policy Polling -- a significantly different result than a survey released Monday that found her just six points behind. The Tuesday poll finds Davis taking 35 percent of voters to Abbott's 50 percent, with 15 percent of the voters polled remaining undecided. In contrast, an online University of Texas/Texas Tribune poll released Monday found Davis at 34 percent and Abbott at 40 percent. That survey found a much higher percentage of undecided voters -- 25 percent, rather than PPP's 15 percent --- and also gave more positive favorable ratings to both Abbott and Davis." [HuffPost]

BECAUSE YOU'VE READ THIS FAR - Here is a dog who is determined to get its toy through a doggy door.

ROB FORD DOESN'T... WAIT FOR IT... CRACK UNDER PRESSURE - You can unsubscribe by hitting the link at the bottom of this email. Globe and Mail: "Toronto Mayor Rob Ford vowed to stay on after making the stunning admission that he had smoked crack cocaine. 'I know I embarrassed everyone in this city and I will be forever sorry,' he told a news conference Tuesday afternoon. 'There is only one person to blame for this and that is myself. I know that admitting my mistake was the right thing to do and I feel like 1,000 pounds have been lifted off my shoulders. I can’t explain how difficult this was to do. ... I know what I did was wrong. And admitting it was the most difficult and embarrassing thing I have ever had to do.' Mr. Ford rejected mounting calls for him to step aside with an apology and promise to not repeat such behaviour. 'For the sake of the taxpayers of this great city, for the sake of the taxpayers, we must get back to work immediately. We must keep Toronto moving forward. I was elected to do a job and that’s exactly what I’m going to continue doing,' he told reporters." [HuffPost]

COMFORT FOOD

- A group of Australian medical students set the world spooning record. [http://bit.ly/1gn486X]

- Short video feature about the warehouse where a Los Angeles museum stores whale bones. [http://bit.ly/1apdMNY]

- Gorgeous views of Earth from space. [http://wrd.cm/1cGddD3]

- A burger wrapper conceals the fact that you eating a burger. [http://bit.ly/1iF5Yga]

- An iPhone app that unlocks your Mac by knocking on the back of your phone. [http://bit.ly/1bVFx3s]

- Kittens and monkeys share some chips. [http://bit.ly/1gpu5Tj]

TWITTERAMA

@pareene: I've just been to Times Square...how... how did they make everything into porn theaters again so quickly

@joshgreenman:DEAR GOD WHY DID YOU TAKE CHRIS FARLEY FROM US BEFORE HE COULD IMPERSONATE ROB FORD IT'S JUST NOT FAIR

@matthew_power: FORD TO CITY: DROP ACID

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