POLITICS
11/14/2013 05:45 pm ET Updated Jan 23, 2014

HUFFPOST HILL - Fine, Keep Your Crappy Plan, I'm Going To Go Look At Presidential Library Blueprints

Republicans want to impeach Eric Holder for not defending DOMA, which is kind of like faulting the State Department for not maintaining relations with Austria-Hungary. John Boehner told his conference that everything is going according to his plan, but didn't deviously tap his fingers together while laughing maniacally. And the Koch brothers' brain trust is a right-wing think tank called the State Policy Network. Turns out it's not a HAL 9000 with Barry Goldwater's voice. This is HUFFPOST HILL for Thursday, November 14th, 2013:

OBAMA ANNOUNCES CRAPPY HEALTH CARE EXTENSION - The president should email "check this out!" to senior HHS officials with an attached article about the Chinese government's crackdown on incompetent bureaucrats. #management. Jeff Young: "President Barack Obama on Thursday asked health insurance companies to allow individuals whose current plans have been canceled due to the Affordable Care Act to renew them for a year. Obama gave a speech in the White House briefing room as a small but growing number of restive congressional Democrats join the Republican chorus that legislation is needed to preserve the policies being eliminated. The House of Representatives is scheduled to vote Friday on a bill sponsored by Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Fred Upton (R-Mich.) that would permit health insurers to extend these health plans. In the Senate, Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-La.) and others are backing similar bills to address the canceled plans...'That's on me,' Obama said. 'We fumbled the rollout on this health care law.' Obama vowed to press ahead with implementing his law, and reiterated that the health insurance market needs reforming to guarantee stable health insurance coverage." [HuffPost]

Antsy Senate Dems are standing down: "A rebellion by Senate Democrats against President Barack Obama's health care law appeared to stall Thursday after Obama moved to let more Americans keep health plans that were being canceled by insurance companies. Obama's plan to let health insurance companies extend current plans into the next year, even if they don't meet his law's coverage standards, was laid out to senators in a closed-door briefing in the Capitol by White House chief of staff Denis McDonough. Most emerged saying they were satisfied, for now, including some who had signed onto a bill by Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-La.) that would permanently grandfather in existing insurance plans." [HuffPost's Mike McAuliff and Sabrina Siddiqui]

Hell no you can't: "House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) said Thursday he was 'highly skeptical' of President Barack Obama's plan to fix insurance policy cancellations under the Affordable Care Act. Boehner spoke moments before Obama announced that his administration would permit health insurance companies to extend current plans into the next year, even if they don't meet the law's coverage standards. The announcement came after millions of consumers received cancellation notices from insurers, because their plans didn't comply with the Affordable Care Act's rules for benefits and financial protections. Boehner dismissed Obama's ability to offer an administrative fix, and said the House would proceed with a vote Friday to advance a bill from Rep. Fred Upton (R-Mich.) that would enable health insurers to extend current plans." [HuffPost]

OBAMA SEEKS ONE MILLION DOLLARS - With Ashley Alman: "President Obama's fundraiser in Philadelphia Thursday night, hosted by a pair of business executives, is aiming to raise a million dollars for the the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, according to an email provided to The Huffington Post. The event, which will take place at the home of Comcast executive vice president and major Democratic fundraiser David L. Cohen, is co-hosted by credit card and energy mogul Richard Vague. The fundraiser will feature Obama and Sens. Michael Bennet (D-Colo.) and Bob Casey (D-Pa.). Bennet is head of the DSCC; Pennsylvania does not have a Senate contest in 2014, but does have many wealthy donors." [HuffPost]

CHRIS CHRISTIE NOT FEELING WELL! - Get better, Chris Christie. May your blue fleece keep you warm. Ashley Alman: "Recently reelected New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) has canceled his appearance at Thursday's Committee of Seventy's annual fundraising breakfast because of illness. The governor's office notified the good-government advocacy group of Christie's cancelation at 6 p.m. Wednesday, the night before the event, saying the governor was 'just not feeling well at all,' according to Zack Stalberg, Committee of Seventy president and CEO. HuffPost was tipped off to the cancelation by local blogger and reporter Laura Goldman." [HuffPost]

ROGERS DETECTS FARM BILL OPTIMISM - David Rogers: "House Republicans were more upbeat Thursday on getting a farm bill done this year, with Speaker John Boehner raising the subject and Agriculture Committee Chairman Frank Lucas saying he and his Senate counterparts are 'getting to a common point on the commodity title.' 'I can say that all the face-to-face meetings that have gone on with the principals -- in the last couple of weeks -- have made progress,' Lucas told POLITICO. 'We are getting to a common point on the commodity title.'" But all hell breaks loose when the nutrition title comes 'round. [Politico]

DAILY DELANEY DOWNER - More mailbag misery from an anonymous correspondent with knowledge of the situation: "Up until last week, I had a food stamp benefit of $62 per month for a FAMILY OF TWO, one of which is a GROWING TEENAGER, because our monthly income is $1,500 per month here in Rhode Island.... I got a notice last week that for the month of December, my food stamp benefit is going to be $49!!!!! and, the increase hasn't even hit yet for SSI!!! .... I am guessing that the cut that will take place NEXT month due to the 1.5% COST OF LIVING increase!!!! (laughing out loud literally) will leave me with not only nothing in food stamps, BUT, since I live in HUD housing, the minute we get so much as a dollar more CASH benefits, my rent increases as well! So, I lose foodstamps, and my rent goes up... what was that about the cost of living???????" [Hang in there!]

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REID SETS PRE-THANKSGIVING AGENDA - Roll Call: "Shortly before noon Thursday, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid made the procedural moves that set the schedule for the time between now and the Thanksgiving break. The Nevada Democrat filed a sequence to three cloture motions, setting up votes to end debate on: the third of three pending nominees to vacant seats on the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals, a bipartisan drug compounding regulatory bill, and the fiscal 2014 defense programs measure. Senate Republicans expect the first of the three votes will take place at the usual time of 5:30 p.m. Monday, which means Reid would once again not follow through on a threat for a weekend session. The move would have a benefit for Democrats on the back end, however: the possibility of jamming senators trying to offer contentious amendments to the defense measure up against the holiday break. Since cloture motions ripen in the order filed, the first vote would be likely to sustain a filibuster on the nomination of Robert L. Wilkins to the powerful D.C. Circuit court. The vast majority of GOP senators opposed the two previous nominees to seats on the same federal bench -- Patricia Ann Millett and Nina Pillard -- citing caseload and other issues." [Roll Call]

JOHN BOEHNER OBAMACARE 'REPEAL' IS NIGH - Luke Johnson: "After House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) declared that House Republicans would end the government shutdown over Obamacare funding by allowing a vote on a bipartisan Senate deal, he said the House would try to repeal Obamacare by relying on 'smart, targeted strikes that split the legislative coalition the president has relied upon to force his health care law on the American people.' In a meeting Wednesday with the House Republican conference, Boehner said that a bill offered by Rep. Fred Upton (R-Mich.) to allow individuals to keep their health care plans fits in with that strategy. 'Remember the strategy for stopping Obamacare we laid out to you back in July. It had two components: Aggressive, coordinated oversight, and targeted legislative strikes aimed at shattering the legislative coalition the president has used to force his law on the nation,' Boehner said, closely following his earlier comments. 'That plan is being executed as we speak.'" [HuffPost]

HOUSE REPUBLICANS WANT TO IMPEACH ERIC HOLDER BECAUSE, UM, BENGHAZI? - Actually, the reason is even dumber. Ryan Reilly: "A fringe group of House Republicans announced this week they will try to make Attorney General Eric Holder the first cabinet official to be impeached since the reconstruction era. One of the reasons? He didn't defend an unconstitutional law. One of the articles of impeachment against Holder backed by a small group of House Republicans, including Reps. Michele Bachmann (Minn.), Ted Yoho (Fla.) and Pete Olson (Texas), involves the Justice Department's decision not to defend key provisions of the Defense of Marriage Act in federal court. The Supreme Court, of course, agreed with the Obama administration's conclusion that the federal law recognizing only opposite-sex marriages was unconstitutional, and it struck down a portion of the law over the summer. The Republicans also targeted Holder's decision not to sue Washington and Colorado for deciding to regulate rather than criminalize marijuana, arguing that he's not enforcing the Controlled Substances Act." [HuffPost]

NO SOME CHILD(REN) LEFT BEHIND - Children are the future, so it's fitting that America's kids, like everything else, are totally screwed. Joy Resmovits: "For American students with disabilities, class sizes are increasing, services are waning and providers are disappearing. More than half of parents who have children with disabilities and responded to a survey say their schools have altered special education services because of declining funding since last year -- in some cases, because of federal budget cuts known as sequestration, according to survey results released Thursday. Of the 52.7 percent of parents who indicated services for their children had changed, 29.5 percent said services decreased, 32.2 percent said class sizes grew, 27.4 percent reported service providers dropped, and 13.1 percent said budget cuts had led to a change in a student's placement." [HuffPost]

MEET THE KOCH BROTHERS' BRAIN TRUST - Paul Blumenthal: "A network of state-level think tanks is pushing a right-wing agenda with support from the American Legislative Exchange Council and funding from the billionaire Koch brothers, according to a new report. The Center for Media and Democracy released its exposé on the State Policy Network and affiliated groups on Wednesday. The report details the think tank network's ties to ALEC, funding from wealthy conservative benefactors, and political and lobbying activities backing right wing positions on health care, education, privatization, labor rights, tax cuts and environmental policy..The report contends that the network cloaks itself as merely a supporter of "market-oriented" research when it is actually part and parcel of the right wing infrastructure to push a nationally designed agenda in statehouses across the country...The network has also routinely sponsored ALEC's annual meetings. The Center for Media and Democracy had previously launched a campaign targeting ALEC called ALEC Exposed, which revealed numerous documents detailing that group's internal operations." [HuffPost]

THE FEDERAL BUREAU OF INVESTIGATION AND THE CHAMBER OF SECRETS - Matt Sledge: "The FBI is going long to keep its secret files on animal rights activists a secret: It is fighting public records requests about why it keeps denying public records requests. It's a deeply meta strategy that's also like the set-up for an Abbott and Costello routine -- but to Ryan Shapiro, the MIT doctoral candidate profiled in Mother Jones on Wednesday as 'the punk rocker who can liberate your FBI file,' it's nothing new. For years, Shapiro and the agency have engaged in a tug-of-war over how many records the FBI will release to enable his academic research on the history of the animal rights movement. Since 2010, Shapiro has barraged the agency with records requests. He says he now has roughly 600 records requests open and is fighting for the release of 350,000 pages of files -- which likely makes him the agency's most prolific requester (or tormentor)." [HuffPost]

NC: LGBT-OPPONENT APPOINTED TO SCHOOL SAFETY POSITION - With a name like Buddy Collins you'd think he'd own a chain of Raleigh-area car dealerships and/or be a local sports talk radio host. Amanda Terkel: "When North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory (R) first nominated attorney Buddy Collins to the state school board in March, he faced significant criticism from LGBT groups because of Collins' long history of opposing anti-bullying measures aimed at protecting LGBT students. Nevertheless, the GOP-controlled North Carolina General Assembly confirmed Collins. And in a further disregard of the LGBT community's concerns, McCrory on Wednesday elevated Collins again, appointing him to a two-year term on the governor's Task Force on Safer Schools...In 2002, he published a column in the Winston-Salem Journal advocating against the 'public endorsement of a homosexual union and homosexual sexual practices.'" [HuffPost]

AMERICANS DON'T WANT ATHEISTS ON THE SUPREME COURT - Americans want the views of a zombie carpenter from Nazareth and/or some guy who was so stoned he thought rivers were vomiting frogs to represent them on the high court. Emily Swanson: "A recent comment by Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer led some atheist advocates to speculate he might be one of them. A new HuffPost/YouGov poll suggests that Americans would be split over whether that was a good thing. According to the poll, 40 percent of Americans would approve of the president nominating an atheist to fill a vacancy on the Supreme Court, while almost as many -- 38 percent -- said they would disapprove...The poll found that 45 percent of Americans think a potential justice's religious beliefs should not be relevant during the nominations process, while 36 percent said the president should take those beliefs into account...Republicans were especially likely to disapprove of the idea of nominating an atheist justice (56 percent to 26 percent), while pluralities of Democrats (49 percent to 34 percent) and independents (42 percent to 34 percent) said they would approve." [HuffPost]

BECAUSE YOU'VE READ THIS FAR - Here is a child walking on ice for the first time.

THE #THISTOWN-IEST #THISTOWN THING TO HAPPEN IN #THISTOWN THIS WEEK - HuffPost Media: "Mika Brzezinski almost shared Chris Christie's phone number with a crowd of people at a recent Politico event. She was speaking on a panel with her 'Morning Joe' co-host Joe Scarborough when she called Christie to leave him a voice message. She was caught off-guard when she reached a recorded message that repeated Christie's number." [HuffPost]

COMFORT FOOD

- "The Hunger Games" as an 8-bit video game. [http://bit.ly/1duiPAT]

- Behold the king of Vines. [http://bit.ly/1ePX16u]

- Patty "Jesus died for somebody's sins but not mine" Smith met Pope Francis. Weird, right? [http://bit.ly/17tjsGZ]

- Man tries to build bicycle that can travel at highway-level speeds. [http://bit.ly/144icqA]

- The Muscles from Brussels, Jean-Claude Van Damme, has thighs of steel. [http://huff.to/175rZTs]

- Map of showing how different words are said in European languages [http://bit.ly/1ePnrFu]

- Ken Burns is getting a bunch of public figures to recite and discuss the Gettysburg Address on its 150th anniversary. [http://bit.ly/HTc41d]

TWITTERAMA

@7im: If your insurer likes your health care plan you can keep it?

@SteveWorks4You: Obama says the abysmally low enrollment numbers are proof Americans want Obamacare. William Hung sold twice as many albums.

@danamira: When reporters stand next to each other and talk into their mics at the same time, they look like a doo-wop group http://t.co/xIbkpv0kKd

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