A foundation was formed to establish Barack Obama's presidential library, though our offer to endow the Kenyan anti-colonial theory section has fallen on deaf ears. A Missouri lawmaker wants to make the high five his state's official greeting, but we're still waiting for the Mark McGwire/Jose Canseco Bash Brothers arm pump to be recognized by the authorities. And a congressional candidate thinks Hillary Clinton is the antichrist. Huma Abedin must've been her own personal false flag operation. HUFFPOST HILL for Friday, January 31st, 2014:
CHRISTIE KNEW OF LANE CLOSURES: GUY WHO CLOSED LANES - Star-Ledger: "The attorney representing David Wildstein, a former official at the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, said today that Gov. Chris Christie knew of the closure of lanes from Fort Lee on to the George Washington Bridge when they occurred in September. 'Evidence exists as well tying Mr. Christie to having knowledge of the lane closures, during the period when the lanes were closed, contrary to what the governor stated publicly in a two-hour press conference' last month, the attorney, Alan Zegas, said. Zegas also said Wildstein 'contests the accuracy of various statements that the governor made about him and he can prove the inaccuracy of some.' The statements were made in a letter sent by Zegas to the Port Authority asking it to reconsider its decision earlier this month not to pay Wildstein's legal bills. The Port Authority declined comment, and the governor's office did not immediately return requests for comment. Zegas declined to elaborate on the letter or evidence. In December and last month, Christie insisted on several occasions that he learned about the lane closures from media accounts published after the closures occurred." [Star-Ledger]
The Star-Ledger, in a new editorial, says Christie should resign if the allegation is substantiated.
Why would Christie's good high school friend turn on his old buddy? Let's ask Christie about their relationship: "David and I were not friends in high school...We didn't travel in the same circles in high school. You know, I was the class president and athlete. I don't know what David was doing during that period of time." Revenge of the nerds!
ERIC CANTOR INFORMS HOUSE REPUBLICANS THAT NOT ALL AMERICANS OWN MOTORCYCLE SHOPS - Great piece from Byron York: "Perhaps the most remarkable thing about Cantor's [Cambridge retreat] presentation was that it included a recognition that in the past Republicans have focused more on the nation's employers than employees, have talked about small business owners and entrepreneurs to the exclusion of the far greater number of Americans who don't own their own businesses. 'Ninety percent of Americans work for someone else,' Cantor said, according to a source in the room. 'Most of them not only will never own their own business, for most of them that isn't their dream. Their dream is to have a good job, with an income that will allow them to support their family.'...So many will welcome the new emphasis among House GOP lawmakers as better late than never. Bu4t some will still ask: What took them so long?" [Examiner]
STATE DEPARTMENT ANALYSIS SUPPORTS KEYSTONE XL CONSTRUCTION - A whole lotta' oil men in western blazers just started excitedly shooting their revolvers in the air. Kate Sheppard: "The State Department released a new environmental analysis of the proposed Keystone XL pipeline on Friday that increases the likelihood that the Obama administration will approve the project. The report, which is the final version of the department's environmental impact statement, found that the pipeline will not significantly increase greenhouse gas emissions -- the biggest issue for the environmental groups that want to see the pipeline rejected. The report found that the production, refining and combustion of the projected 830,000 barrels of oil that will flow through the pipeline each day will add between 147 and 168 million metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions annually. Further, the report states that 'approval or denial of any one crude oil transport project, including the proposed Project, remains unlikely to significantly impact the rate of extraction in the oil sands, or the continued demand for heavy crude oil at refineries in the United States." While there are some changes from the draft impact analysis released last March, the report did not find any significant new environmental concerns related to the pipeline." [HuffPost]
MICROSOFT THE TARGET OF A TAX INQUIRY - We're not business reporters. We just play ones on TV. Grim, Wilkie and Carter: "Three Bermuda subsidiaries of Microsoft Corp. are involved in a tax inquiry launched by another country, according to documents made public by the Bermuda Supreme Court. The look into the three shell companies, the existence of which Microsoft does not acknowledge in public filings with regulators, comes as the technology giant is under pressure for its low tax bills. Two of the previously undisclosed companies are affiliated with Microsoft's Irish subsidiaries that were alleged eight years ago to have helped the company shave its tax bill. Like other tax havens, Bermuda's financial system is notoriously secretive." The best moment in the story: The Bermuda court only publishes its records in a handwritten ledger. Love it. [HuffPost]
OBAMA PRESIDENTIAL LIBRARY OFFICIALLY UNDERWAY - AP: "The formal process to build a library housing President Barack Obama's presidential records and artifacts began Friday with the formation of a new foundation, launched by top supporters with Obama's blessing, that will develop and build the monument to his legacy. The nonprofit Barack H. Obama Foundation will be led by Marty Nesbitt, a close Obama friend from Chicago, and Julianna Smoot, a former White House social secretary and top official in Obama's re-election campaign. A vigorous competition to host the library is already underway. Hawaii, where Obama was born, and Illinois, his longtime home, have been lobbying the Obamas both publicly and privately. New York, where Obama went to college, also has expressed interest. With so many of Obama's aides and supporters calling Chicago home, the focus has increasingly turned to the Windy City, where Obama was first elected and came into his own as a national political figure. The involvement of Nesbitt, a Chicago businessman, in forming the foundation is likely to amplify speculation that Chicago has an inside track to getting the library. The third founding member of the nonprofit's board, Kevin Poorman, is also based in Chicago and runs a company formed by Chicago businesswoman Penny Pritzker, who is now Obama's commerce secretary." [ABC News]
Our favorite Paranoid, Self-Loathing GOP Lobbyist wonders if the library takes bitcoin or if he must pay in bullion. "I may contribute with the hopes of avoiding an IRS audit," PSLGOPL emails.
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SCOOPLET: Iran Event Canceled Amid Administration Slow Walk - With Philly blogger Laura Goldman: "The Iranian Ambassador to the United Nations has canceled what would have been a historic appearance in Philadelphia because the State Department refused to grant him permission to travel to the event, according to its organizers. The World Affairs Council of Philadelphia was scheduled to host Ambassador Mohammad Khazaee, permanent representative of the Islamic Republic of Iran to the United Nations, for an event on Feb. 5. Organizers first reached out to the State Department on Dec. 3, as Khazaee requires permission to travel from New York, where he is based, to Philadelphia. The Huffington Post first asked the State Department whether it would grant Khazaee travel permission a month later, on Jan. 3. By Jan. 21, the State Department had confirmed that Iran had submitted all the necessary paperwork, but communication ended there." The groups president pinned the cancelation on "the travel limitations placed on Representatives of certain governments by the United States Department of State." [HuffPost]
WHITE HOUSE PLACES ENDA HOPES IN JOHN BOEHNER SUDDENLY BECOMING A CHAMPION OF LGBT RIGHTS - The speaker will get to that just as soon as he gives up Marlboros and merlot. Jen Bendery: "White House Press Secretary Jay Carney on Friday again signaled that President Barack Obama has no plans to take executive action to ban workplace discrimination against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people, even as House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) has said he won't let related legislation get a vote. Executive action won't go far enough, administration officials routinely argue, because Obama only has the ability to ban discrimination among government contractors. Instead, the White House wants Congress to pass a bill addressing the issue more comprehensively -- and there's legislation that would do just that, the Employment Non-Discrimination Act. But Boehner has said he opposes ENDA, and The Washington Blade reported this week that he told members of the LGBT caucus there's 'no way' he'll bring it to the House floor this year. The measure already passed the Senate in November. Carney said Friday that the president will just keep his fingers crossed that Boehner changes his mind. 'I would suggest that there have been occasions when leaders in the House have declared something won't happen and it happens anyway, and we certainly hope that's the case here,' he said during his daily briefing." [HuffPost]
PROGRESSIVE ACTIVISTS TARGETING SECRETARY OF STATE RACES - Unclear how many dartboards with Katherine Harris' face will line the walls of iVote. Sam Stein: "Hoping to fight political battles today so they don't become court cases tomorrow, a group of high-ranking Democrats and Obama veterans are launching a new political action committee focused on expanding voting rights. The group, called iVote, will target secretary of state races in presidential battleground states, with the goal of either unseating lawmakers who support voter restriction laws, or electing officials who oppose them. "We need to really flip the script on voting rights and go from defense on voter suppression efforts, to offense on expanding access," said Jeremy Bird, an iVote board member and former national field director for President Barack Obama’s 2012 campaign. "You know, [Republicans] have for years been focused on attacks on voting, purging legitimate voters from the rolls, erecting barriers for select voters, putting up barriers for things that are very popular, like early voting. Our idea is that we have to fight back." The new PAC is launching just weeks after the Presidential Commission on Election Administration released a six-month review arguing for expanded online voter registration, early balloting, and updated electronic voting equipment. iVote shares those policy goals and -- knowing that commission findings don't always produce legislation -- wants to see them put in place." [HuffPost]
OBAMA DOESN'T KNOW IF YOU'RE CHOOMIN' OR NOT - THIS Sounds less like a joke and more like a challenge to the NSA Luke Johnson: "President Barack Obama said Thursday that the federal government did not have resources to prosecute casual users of marijuana in Colorado and Washington, two states where it has been legalized for sale, in an interview with CNN. 'The Department of Justice, you know, under Eric Holder, has said that we are going to continue to enforce federal laws. But in those states, we recognize that ... the federal government doesn't have the resources to police whether somebody is smoking a joint on a corner,' he said, according to a transcript of the interview with CNN's Jake Tapper conducted in Wisconsin. "And we are trying to provide them structures to make sure that, you know, big time drug traffickers, the spillover effect of the violence, potentially, of a drug trade [are not] creeping out of this experiment." Obama's comments reflect the attitude of Attorney General Eric Holder's Justice Department, which announced in August that it would not challenge marijuana laws in Colorado and Washington. However, marijuana dispensaries already opened in Colorado still operate under dubious federal legality. For instance, they largely do not have access to banks, which are federally regulated, forcing them to operate in cash only." [HuffPost]
Rick Scott is trailing Charlie Crist in Florida's governor's race: "The [Quinnipiac University] poll found Crist taking 46 percent among Florida voters, with Scott at 38 percent. Crist, who served his term as a Republican before switching parties, was viewed more positively than negatively, with 44 percent viewing him favorably and 35 percent unfavorably. Scott was less popular, with a 38 percent favorable rating and a 45 percent unfavorable rating. Scott has staked his campaign largely on a platform of economic recovery, arguing that Florida's economy has improved under his tenure after cratering during Crist's. Voters in the latest poll, however, give Crist a small edge over Scott, 47 percent to 42 percent, on whom they most trust to handle the economy and jobs." [HuffPost]
SENATE CANDIDATE'S CAMPAIGN CHAIR CALLS CONSTITUENTS A BUNCH OF SISSIES - Jack Kingston for Georgia: Why Don't You All Just Grow A Pair. Amanda Terkel: "Phil Wilheit, Jr., the co-chairman of Rep. Jack Kingston's (R-Ga.) Senate campaign, is fed up with all the complaining. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports that Wilheit went on Facebook -- the post is not public -- and told residents of Atlanta to 'quit whining': 'Hey Atlanta! Quit whining about how inconvenient the last few days have been. It’s called earth and weather and it does what it wants....stop complaining about your long commute home….at least it was still there when you finally arrived... The 'men' in Atlanta need to drink less cosmotinis and forget about ever getting another pedicure. Be a man like the guy who hiked 6 miles through the snow and ice to be with his daughter. Spend more time in nature and less time bitching about it. If more people had not panicked and bolted out of the office at noon we would not have gridlocked the highways and the DOT could have treated them.'...Kingston is running in a crowded field of Republicans in the 2014 primary to replace retiring Sen. Saxby Chambliss (R-Ga.). The winner of the GOP primary is expected to face Michelle Nunn, the leading contender on the Democratic side, in the general election." [HuffPost]
Calling Obama the antichrist is so yesterday. Labeling Hillary Clinton as the archnemesis of our lord and savior is so now: "Ryan Zinke, a former Navy SEAL and state senator who is now running for Congress in Montana, said during a campaign stop this week that he is worried the country is losing sight of the real threat to the nation: Hillary Clinton. 'We need to focus on the real enemy,' said Zinke on Monday, referring to Clinton, according to the Bigfork Eagle. He also called the former Secretary of State the 'anti-Christ.' Zinke is one of a handful of Republicans trying to succeed Rep. Steve Daines (R-Mont.), who is expected to run for the seat being vacated by Sen. Max Baucus (D-Mont.). Zinke was once a member of SEAL Team 6, which carried out the operation killing al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden. In 2012, while still serving in the Legislature, he launched a super PAC called Special Operations for America that opposed President Barack Obama." [HuffPost's Amanda Terkel]
BECAUSE YOU'VE READ THIS FAR - Here is a DJ dog spinning some sick beats.
PUDDY ENDORSES - UPI: 'A Missouri politician wants residents of the 'Show Me State' to do something other than say hello when they pass on the street. Rep. Courtney Allen Curtis introduced a bill to the Missouri House of Representatives earlier this week hoping to ensure that the high-five 'is selected for and shall be known as the official state greeting in the state of Missouri.' The bill has already been read a second time. Curtis was elected in 2012 and his district covers parts of St. Louis County. According to House Bill 1624: 'To amend chapter 10, RSMo, by adding thereto one new section relating to the designation of the official state greeting. Be it enacted by the General Assembly of the state of Missouri, as follows: Section A. Chapter 10, RSMo, is amended by adding thereto one new section, to be known as section 10.190, to read as follows: 10.190. The ‘high five’ is selected for and shall be known as the official state greeting in the state of Missouri.'" [UPI]
- A trailer for the remake of Carl Sagan's "Cosmos" featuring Neil deGrasse Tyson as host. So glad to hear they're doing it right. [http://bit.ly/1n2553C]
- Kermit and Miss Piggy reenact the Erin Andrews/Richard Sherman interview. [http://deadsp.in/1bDpwhI]
- GoPro video from the perspective of an unconscious skydiver as he's rescued. [http://bit.ly/1bHsfXw]
- Cat says fie on your stereotypes and goes for a swim. [http://bit.ly/Mn2eGN]
- Jersey bro who rescues stray cats has the heart of an angel. [http://bit.ly/1fu2nTQ]
- That tremor you just felt in the zeitgeist was Aaron Paul, Matchbox 20's Rob Thomas and Bill Murray posing for a photograph. [http://huff.to/1nwEDlG]
- Nineteen types of mix breed dogs. WHAT KIND OF SORCERY IS A HORGI?!? [http://huff.to/1a2wQsb]
@allahpundit: Christie to be impeached during the Super Bowl halftime show. Bruno Mars presiding.
@delrayser: PRO TIP: If you claim to barely know a guy you've been friends with since HS & throw him under the bus, that might come back to bite you.
@nickconfessore: Inbox from Rick Perry: "Why I Spoke in Davos, Switzerland." It's the "Switzerland" that makes it gold.
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